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VOLUME 65: NO. 1, 2011 • AUGUST THROUGH NOVEMBER 2010 








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ON THE COVER: This bean-goose spent two months, from 9 (here 17) November 2010 
through 12 January 2011, at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, Imperial 
County, California, where it was visited by hundreds of birders. Although many of the 
bird's features suggest that it was a Taiga Bean-Goose [Anserfabalis), the taxonomic 
status of at least one Asian population of bean-goose is unresolved, and research con- 
tinues on that population and on the California bird. Photograph by Larry Samone. 


^\THS0/V/^ 

M 29 2011 


A 


Contents 


■it; 


Fall Migration: August through November 2010 

NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS • AMERICAN BIRDING ASSOCIATION • VOLUME 65 • NUMBER 1 • 2011 


Blyth’s Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus 
dumetorum) at Gambell, Alaska: 
First record for North America 
Paul £. Lehman and Robert L. Ake 

14 The Changing Seasons: Bedfellows 
Edward S. Brinkley 

28 Editor’s Notebook 

186 Photo Essay: 

Seabirds of Baja California Sur 

Mark J. Billings, Steve N. 6. Howell, 

Richard A. Erickson, and Matt Sadowski 

190 Pictorial Highlights 


The Regional Reports 


30 Atlantic Provinces & 

St. Pierre et Miquelon 
Edward S. Brinkley 

(Quebec 

Pierre Bannon, Olivier Barden, 
Normand David, and Samuel Denault 


: 72 Eastern Highlands & 

Upper Ohio River Valley 
Victor W. Fazio, ill and Rick Wiltraut 

78 Illinois & Indiana 

James D. Hengeveid, Keith A. McMullen, 
and Geoffrey A. Williamson 

81 Western Great Lakes 
Peder H. Svingen 

86 Iowa & Missouri 

Walter Wehtje 

90 Tennessee & Kentucky 

Chris Sloan and Brainard Palmer-Ball, Jr. 

I 95 Alabama & Mississippi 

Greg D. Jackson 

! 98 Arkansas & Louisiana 

Steven W. Cardiff 

i 

I 105 Northern Canada & Greenland 

Cameron D. Eckert 

I 108 Prairie Provinces 

; Rudolf F. Koes and Peter Taylor 


126 Idaho & Western Montana 
David Trochlell 


127 New Mexico 
Sartor 0. Williams, III 


132 Arizona 

Mark M. Stevenson and Gary H. Rosenberg 


136 


Great Basin 
Rick Fridell 


139 Alaska 

ThedeTobish 


146 British Columbia 
Chris Charlesworth 


149 Oregon & Washington 

David Irons, Douglas Schonewald, 

Brad Waggoner, and Bill Tweit 

156 Northern California 
Jeff N. Davis, Ed Pandolfino, 

Stephen C. Rottenborn, and Michael M. Rogers 

162 Southern California 

Guy McCaskie and Kimball L. Garrett 


39 New England 

Walter G. Ellison and Nancy L. Martin 

45 Hudson-Delaware 

Richard R. Veit, Robert 0. Paxton, 
and Frank Rohrbacher 

50 Middle Atlantic 

Mark! Adams and Matt Hafner 


110 Northern Great Plains 

Ron Martin 

112 Southern Great Plains 

Joseph A. Grzybowski and W. Ross Silcock 

‘]'|7 Texas 

Eric Carpenter, Mark W. Lockwood, 
and Willie Sekula 


166 Baja California Peninsula 

Richard A. Erickson, Roberto Carmona, 
and Gorgonio Ruiz-Campos 

171 Mexico 

Hector Gomez de Silva, Amy McAndrews, 
and Jorge Montejo 

174 Central America 

H. Lee Jones and Oliver Komar 



55 Southern Atlantic 
Ken Blankenship 

59 Florida 

Bruce H. Anderson 
and Andy Banked 

65 Ontario 

Margaret J. C. Bain 


122 Colorado & Wyoming 

Tony Leukering, Lawrence S. Semo, 
and Bill Schmoker 


181 West Indies & Bermuda 
Robert L. Norton, Anthony White, 
Andrew Dobson, and Eddie Massiah 

184 Hawaiian Islands 
Peter Donaldson 


Black-throated Blue Warbler. 

Photograph by Myrna and Joel Priebe. 

See page 109. 

} 



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North American Birds 

is published by the American Birding Association. 


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W. Ross Silcock, Chris Sloan, Josh Southern, Mark M. Stevenson, Dan Svingen, Peder Svingen, 

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NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 





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VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


3 


IS 






D 


AoMtmm) at Gambell, Alaska: 


First record for North America 


PAUL E. LEHMAN .11192 PORTOBELO DRIVE, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA 92124 • (LEHMAN.PAUL@VERIZON.NET) 
ROBERT L. AKE • 6603 CATHERINE STREET, NORFOLK, VIRGINIA 23505-4301 • (ROBERTAKE@GMAILCOM) 



Figure 1 . This photograph of the Blyth's Reed Warbier at Gambell 9 September 201 0 captures many of the features noted in the field: uniform upperparts; plain wing panel, without contrast in 
the tertials or alula (or contrast between these feathers and rest of the upperwing); pale grayish cast in the face; and grayish legs. The facial pattern Is comprised of a pale supercilium, paler and 
more distinct in front of the eye, and a dusky eyeline that matches the crown in coloration. The crown lacks the starkly dark borders of the more distinctly capped eastern Asian Aaocephalus. 

This image also shows the bird's short primary projection, including emargination on at least two primaries. These emarginations fall about equal with tips of the exposed tertials. In the very 
similar Marsh Warbler and Eurasian Reed Warbler, only p3 (the third primary, numbered outside-in; see text) is clearly emarginated, and this emargination falls short of the tertials (Baker 1997; 
Harvey and Porter 1 984, 1 986). Even in the best photographs of the Gambell warbler, it is not possible to count the visible primary tips, which can sometimes help with identification of smaller 
Aaocephalus, but it is clear that the primaries lack pale tips. Commenting on this and other photographs of the Gambell bird, Martin Garner observed that the "bronzy bloom" of the closed wing, 
in contrast to the rest of the plumage, is typical of first-autumn Blyth's Reed as opposed to Marsh and Eurasian Reed. Kennerley and Pearson (201 0) also indicate that this contrast is more pro- 
nounced in Blyth's Reed than in first-autumn Eurasian Reed. Photograph by Aaron J. Lang. 


Abstract 

Tliis paper documents a Blyth’s Reed Warbler 
(Acrocephalus dumetonim) at Gambell, St. 
Lawrence Island, Alaska on 9 September 
2010, an Asian species previously unrecorded 
in North America. Because the genus Acw- 
cephalus includes numerous species whose 
appearances are very similar to one another, 
the paper includes extensive review of the as- 
pects of Blyth's Reed Warbler that distinguish 
it from other Eurasian taxa in the genus. 


Field encounter 

In the late morning of 9 September 2010, Ake 
was birding in the “near boneyard” at Gambell, 
Alaska. The boneyards are midden sites where 
many of the local residents excavate in hopes 
of unearthing ivory or artifacts. Because of the 
digging — which provides exposed, rich soil — a 
relatively lush growth of mostly Northern or 
Tall Wormwood {Artemesia tilesii) and Arctic 
Sage or Wormwood (A. arctica) up to a height 
of half a meter or so is found in late summer 


and early autumn. The food and cover provid- 
ed are attractive to both Asian and North 
American landbird migrants and vagrants. 

Ake had reached the extreme east end of the 
boneyard and had turned to walk the last leg 
west when around noon local time he flushed a 
bird that cooperatively flew a short distance 
and landed in view. His initial quick assessment 
was that it was a medium-sized Old World war- 
bler that did not match any of those he might 
expect. It had a bill that was at least in part 


4 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 




BLYTH'S REED WARBLER AT GAMBELL, ALASKA 



Figure 3. In Figures 2 and 3, note how the color of the Blyth's Reed Warbler at Gambell varies substantially with lighting con- 
ditions (and camera equipment), variation that several authors have noted as being common in many oi the Aaocephalus 
warblers. The observers' experience when viewing this bird through binoculars was similar. However, under all conditions, 
the observers noted that the color of the upperparts was uniform, lacking contrasts of color or tone between back, rump, up- 
pertail coverts, and tail, as well as within individual remiges. Many authors indicate that care should be taken when describ- 
ing apparent plumage colors/tones in Acmcephalus, as light and surrounding vegetation influence their appearances 
dramatically. However, such warnings refer to the tones — not to the uniformity of the coloration. In bright, direct light (Fig- 
ure 2), the bird appears to have very warm brown tones; in overcast conditions (Figure 3), the bird appears a more washed- 
out brown, with an olive cast. In these and all other images of the Gambell bird, the uniformity of the upperparts' color is 
evident. Photographs by Barrett Pierce (Figure 2) and Norm Budnitz (Figure 3). 


bright pinkish; a pale supercilium with a thin 
dark line through the eye; a uniform, un- 
streaked, brownish back, nape, and top of 
head; wings without noticeable bars or pattern; 
and legs that were not obviously pale. The bird 
then flushed and flew to the west, where he re- 
located it, but it quickly flushed again. At this 
point, he carefully marked where the bird had 
landed, and using his two-way radio, he called 
to anyone who was listening, saying, “I need 
some help with a warbler.” Lehman responded, 
saying he would come right away, which he 
did. The bird then flushed between them, and 
Lehman sensed that the bird was something 
unusual. When Ake asked him what he 
thought it might be, he responded, “Something 
like a Paddyfield,” which ht Ake’s initial im- 
pressions of the bird. At that point, Lehman put 
out the message by radio that all birders should 
come to the near boneyard because there ap- 
peared to be a bird that represented a new 
North American record there. 

We noted the bird to be a medium-sized 
Old World warbler, comparable in size to a 
Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) 
or a Middendorff’s Grasshopper- Warbler (Lo- 
custella ochotensis), the latter species familiar 
to Lehman from two previous observations at 
Gambell. However, several features did not 
match the first-autumn Middendorff s studied 
here in 2003 and 2004. Dorsally the plumage 
appeared very uniform, including the unpat- 
temed tail. The largish, longish bill showed 
extensive pale on the mandible. And the bird 
had a distinct facial pattern (Figure 1). By 
contrast, young Middendorffs show a rusty 
rump area, uniformly dark bill, and muted fa- 
cial pattern. The first impression, in fact, was 
of an Acmcephalus warbler, so Lehman ra- 
dioed to other birders to come over for “an 
Acrocephalus-type warbler” — and most bird- 
ers at Gambell were aware that only one Acro- 
cephalus had been recorded in North Ameri- 
can previously, a Sedge Warbler (A. schoeno- 
baenus) in September 2007 (Rosenberg and 
Lehman 2008). For that reason, photogra- 
phers walked ahead of other birders as we 
stalked the bird over the next six hours. 

As we studied the bird further, mostly in 
flight as it flushed repeatedly, Lehman began 
to consider the possibility of an adult Mid- 
dendorff’s. Although the bird was clearly not 
an immature Middendorffs, it appeared to 
show some aspects of adults, When Aaron 
Lang obtained a particularly crisp flight shot 
showing the tail maximally spread and show- 
ing what appeared to be a wedge shape and 
fine pale tips to several of the rectrices, we 
thought the identification as adult Midden- 
dorffs was likely. Ake, who had not been con- 


vinced that the bird could be a Middendorffs, 
was eventually won over by that photograph. 

Lehmans main lingering doubts at the end 
of the day concerned bill size and color, but 
other general plumage characters seem to be 
matched by photographs of adult Midden- 
dorffs that we obtained via the Internet that 
evening. Lehman then communicated the 
find as an adult Middendorffs via email. Lat- 
er that evening, looking at the photographs 
obtained by Aaron Lang, Norm Budnitz, Bar- 
rett Pierce, and David Sonneborn, we could 
see details that we had been unable to see on 
the bird in life. Searches of the boneyards on 
subsequent days did not produce any further 
sightings of the bird, and so we were left with 
our field notes, over one hundred photo- 
graphs, and memories of the bird to work out 


the identification, with the help of Eurasian 
authorities. 

Description 

The following notes were written by Lehman 
immediately following the sighting and aug- 
mented on 10 September with others’ notes on 
the bird and with our study of the photographs. 

The overall size of bird we likened to Mid- 
dendorffs Grasshopper- Warbler, and the bird’s 
size clearly ruled out any of the truly large 
Acrocephalus species. It was flushed approxi- 
mately 25 times and seen very well in flight go- 
ing away in good light, repeatedly. Each time 
the bird was seen in flight, we noted that its 
dorsal coloration, from the crown to the tip of 
the tail, appeared imifonn, never showing con- 
trasting warmer tones in the rump or tail. The 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


5 




BLYTH'S REED WARBLER AT GAMBELL, ALASKA 



Figure 4. The length of the shingle edge marked by the lower blue bar (10.2 cm) was measured directly on the shingle with a 
ruler after the observation. The upper blue bar is an exact copy of the lower. The two small black vertical bars define the 
length of the bird in life from tip of bill to tip of tall. When measured with a ruler, the red bar Is 20% the length of the blue, 
or 2.04 cm. The length of the bird in life Is equal to the combined length of the blue and red bars, about 1 2.25 cm. This puts 
the bird well within the size range of the smaller Aaocephalus warblers. This measurement also accords with the observers' 
estimates of the bird's size in the field. Photograph by David Sonneborn. 



Figure 5. The Cambell warbler's distinctive face pattern, including the supercilium being most prominent in front of the eye 
and forming a slight "bulge," Is evident in this photograph. Also note the dull wing and grayish cast to face, the slight buff wash 
to sides and flanks, and a whitish undertail coverts and lower vent. The bird's bill appeared to experts to be too slight for Large- 
billed Reed Warbler, a recently described species that is very similar to Blyth's Reed Warbler. Photograph by David Somebortt. 



Figure 6. In this photograph of the Cambell warbler, the primaries have been la- 
beled, beginning with the outermost, as is done in the Old World. Note that p3 and 
p4 appear emarginated, a distinguishing feature of Blyth's Reed Warbler. Also, p5 
appears to be emarginated as well, a mark that is sometimes seen in Blyth's Reed 
(Williamson 1 974, Svensson et al. 201 0). In both Marsh Warbler and Eurasian Reed 
Warbler, however, only p3 is emarginated. Large-billed Reed regularly shows p3-5 
emarginated. Also note that p2 appears shorter than p4 and approximately equal in 
length to p5-7, which would be correct for Blyth's Reed Warbler. Such differences in 
primary length, however, almost certainly cannot be determined using a photo- 
graph of a flying bird with wings fully spread. Photograph by Aaron J. Lang. 


perceived color of the upper- 
parts varied, depending on 
lighting conditions, which 
varied from full sun to heavy 
overcast (usually overcast) 
during our observations, and 
on the sun/bird/observer ori- 
entation (Figures 2, 3). The 
color often appeared as a 
warm tan-brown, but on a 
number of occasions, it ap- 
peared duller, and several 
times Lehman saw a pale, 
washed-out olive tinge to the 
upperparts, or at least to the 
back. At no time did any ob- 
server see any streaking or 
pattern on the upperparts or 
any pale tips on the rectrices. 
In the field and in photo- 
graphs, the tertials appeared 
uniform with the remainder 
of the wing, without any per- 
ceivable obvious difference in 


color or distinct edgings. The primary projec- 
tion could not be determined in the field. 

The bill appeared longish, somewhat blunt 
tipped, and strikingly pale on the mandible, 
except for a tiny portion of the tip, which ap- 
peared dark, like the maxilla. On several occa- 
sions, Lehman likened the bill shape to that of 
a Hippolais warbler (e.g., Icterine Warbler, H. 
icterina). The bird had a pale, dull gray wash 
to the nape and lower face. The photographs 
capture the pattern of the pale supercilium ac- 
curately: bold to the eye, present but much 
duller behind the eye, with a dusky eyeline 
that extended just beyond the eye. (A faint, 
diffuse, narrow eyering was present but bro- 
ken by the eyeline; we noticed this in photo- 
graphs but not in the held.) On several occa- 
sions, Lehman commented on how the facial 
expression reminded him somewhat of a War- 
bling Vireo (Vireo gilvus), rather than, for in- 
stance, a Red-eyed Vireo (V olivaceus). Upon 
landing on several occasions, the bird flicked 
its tail upward one or more times. Observers 
also noted that the bird occasionally held its 
tail upward, like a wren, but views of the bird 
on the ground were always brief before it 
would dash into cover (usually the bird land- 
ed directly in dense vegetation). Both in the 
held and in photographs, the very long under- 
tail coverts appeared to be whitish and un- 
marked. Leg color, correctly captured in the 
photographs, appeared to be a dusky gray, 
gray-brown, or tan-brown, and the legs were 
dehnitely neither black nor pale. We were not 
able to determine iris color in the held or from 
photographs, and so we were unable to age 
the bird, though its uniformly fresh plumage 
and relatively pointed tips in all flight feathers 
suggested a hatch-year bird, which would be 
the expected age of a Palearctic vagrant. Ob- 
servers did not hear the warbler vocalize. 

Identification 

Although doubts lingered about the identihca- 
tion as Middendorff’s on the morning follow- 
ing the observation, at that time we had not 
yet turned away from Middendorff’s toward a 
species of Acrocephahis. Lang had posted pho- 
tographs to several websites, and comments 
started coming in from many people on 10 
September, and all experienced respondents 
indicated that the photographs depicted an 
Acrocephalus warbler. Lars Jonsson, Peter Pyle, 
Thede Tobish, and Nick Lethaby immediately 
questioned the identihcation, and several 
raised the possibility of Blyth’s Reed Warbler 
(A. dumetonim). All comments received over 
the course of the week were compiled into a 
document, which all observers of the bird 
consulted and discussed in the days and 
weeks following the field encounter. 


6 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



BLYTH'S REED WARBLER AT GAMBELL, ALASKA 


All correspondents from Eurasia, including all authorities on Old World war- 
blers, are in agreement that the Cambell bird is properly identified as an Acro- 
cepkalus, a reed warbler. The length of the undertail coverts and, particularly the 
tail formula, rule out warblers in the genus Locustella (sometimes called bush 
warblers, grass warblers, or grasshopper- warblers). The outer rectrices are too 
long for a Locustella warbler, which have outer rectrices much shorter than the 
central rectrices. In the Cambell bird, the outer rectrices are only slightly short- 
er, as is typical of Acrocephalus. In addition, the structure and plumage col- 
oration help to eliminate the unstreaked eastern Palearctic Locustella species 
such as Styan’s Grasshopper- Warbler (or Pleske’s Warbler, L. pleskei) or Gray’s 
Grasshopper- Warbler (L. fasciolata). Bradypterus warblers, sometimes called 
scrub warblers, are darker than the Gambell warbler, especially ventrally. War- 
blers of the genus Iduna, such as Sykes’s V/arbler (I rama; a plausible candidate 
for vagrancy to Bering Sea islands), have much shorter undertail coverts than the 
Gambell warbler. Hippolais warblers, too, have shorter undertail coverts than the 
Gambell warbler and lack that bird’s somewhat rounded tail and dark eyeline. 

Having ruled out other genera of Old World warblers, we then narrowed the 
choices among the Acrocephalus warblers by estimating the bird’s size. Taxa in 
the genus range from 11.5 cm to 22 cm in length (Kennerley and Pearson 2010), 
and a solid field study of an Acrocephalus should enable an observer to determine 
whether a bird is a larger or a smaller species. Our estimates of the bird’s size in 
the field were supported through direct measurement of a roof shingle on which 
it perched; this method produced an estimate of 12.25 cm (see Figure 4), indi- 
cating one of the smaller Acrocephalus. The larger Oriental Reed Warbler (A. ori- 
entalis) and Thick-billed Warbler (A. aedon), which both measure 18-19 cm in 
length (Kennerley and Pearson 2010), v/ould both appear much larger and heav- 
ier-billed in the field, for instance. Moreover, those species can be eliminated 
from consideration on the basis of face pattern, warmer plumage tones, and sev- 
eral features of the wing and tail. 

Our research, including correspondence with Eurasian authorities on Old 
World warblers, indicates that nine smaller Acrocephalus taxa (in the 12-14 cm 
range) roughly match the size of the Gambell bird. These are: 

• Black-browed Reed Warbler (A. bistrigkeps): breeds from the southeastern 
portion of the Russian Far East and northern Japan southward; winters southern 
China and Southeast Asia. 

• Streaked Reed Warbler (A. sorgophilus): breeds only in extreme northeastern 
China; winters in the Philippines; rare and local, very poorly known. 

• Manchurian Reed Warbler (A. tmgorum): breeds in extreme southeastern 
Russia and northeastern China; winters in Southeast Asia; rather poorly known. 

• Paddyfield Warbler (A. agricola): breeds from southern Russia to north-central 
China; winters on the Indian subcontinent; accidental to southeastern and eastern 
Asia (e.g., Thailand, eastern China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan) and a very 
rare but annual fall vagrant to western Europe, where also casual in late spring; 

• Blunt-winged Warbler (A. concinens): breeds in China north to the Beijing 
area; winters in Southeast Asia. 

• Marsh Warbler (A. palustris): breeds in Europe east to the Urals (northern 
Kazakhstan); winters in southeastern Africa. 

• Eurasian Reed Warbler (A. scirpaceus), including the eastern subspecies, A. s. 
fuscus: breeds from western Europe to Tien Shan in extreme northwestern Chi- 
na; winters in eastern Africa; recorded once in eastern China (Brazil 2009). 

• Large-billed Reed Warbler (A. orinus): apparently breeds in a limited range in 
northeasternmost Afghanistan (Timmins et al. 2009, 2010) and adjacent Tajik- 
istan (Aye et al. 2010, Strahm 2010), but there ^re also older specimens from 
northern Pakistan and southeastern Kazakhstan (Svensson et al. 2008); speci- 
mens, along with recent captures and sightings, indicate that the species winters 
mostly in India and western Southeast Asia (Svensson et al. 2010b Large-billed 
was properly described to science only recently (Bensch and Pearson 2002) and 
is little known in life, with the description based until very recently on specimen 
material (Svensson et al. 2010). 

• Blyth’s Reed Warbler (A. dumetorum): breeds from southern Finland across 



Figure 9. Figures 7-9 illustrate the uniformity of the upperparts and very plain wing 
pane!, which lacks contrast in the tertials and alula; in most similar species, these 
feathers show dark centers and paler, often rufous fringes. The underparts are dull 
off-white except for a pale bufly wash to the sides and flanks. The flat low forehead, 
flat crown, and distinctive face pattern — with supercilium paler and more promi- 
nent in front of the eye — are also evident. Photographs by Barrett Pierce. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


7 




BLYTH'S REED WARBLER AT 6AMBELL, ALASKA 



Figure 10. The Blyth's Reed Warbler at Gambell had grayish or brownish gr y 
legs and feet and long white undertail coverts, both shown well in this phc 
graph. Many otherwise similar species oi Acrocephalm (and indeed warbler ol 
other similar genera) have much shorter undertail coverts and/or undertail 
coverts with warm tones of ochre, buff, olive, or brown. Several species, such nj 
Marsh 'Varbipr have niUih paler legs Pi o ofni,!- by B'liiftt Pie, 'e 



Figure 1 1 . The whitish undertail coverts and the slight buff wash to the sides 
and flanks of the Gambell Blyth's Reed Warbler warbler show very nicely in this 
and the preceding photograph. The slight grayish cast to the face is also evident 
in this photograph, which helps in distinguishing Blyth's Reed from Blunt- 
winged Warbler, among others. Photograph by Norm Budnitz. 



Figures 12, 13. This Blyth's Reed Warbler at Fetlar, Scotland 7 October 2010 is typical of a hatch-year in- 
dividual in autumn (most available photographs of this species depict adults, often worn, on the breed- 
ing grounds). The lores are very pale, unlike in Eurasian Reed Warblers of the same age. The upperparts 
are mostly uniform in tone, showing warmer tones in remiges but no contrast between feather groups 
and no patterning in individual feathers, unlike in Marsh Warbler. The legs are also darker than in Marsh 
Warbler. The bill is small to moderate in size. Photographs by Martin Garner. 


Siberia east to the western shore of Lake Baikal 
and north to the eastern tributaries of the 
Yenisey River; winters throughout the Indian 
subcontinent and in Myanmar. In recent years, 
the species has appeared annually in western 
Europe in autumn (Kennerley and Pearson 
2010); single records exist for Hokkaido and 
Okinawa (Brazil 2009); there is one specimen 
from northwestern China (6 September 2004); 
and there are six records for Hong Kong 
through 2005 (Kennerley and Pearson 2010). 

In the section that follows, we consider 
each ol the nine species in the context of the 
Gambell Acroccphalus. The field marks refer- 
enced in this section are taken from multiple 


sources, including; Harvey and Porter (1979), 
Harvey and Porter (1986), Parmenter and By- 
ers (1991), Svensson (1992), Kennerley and 
Leader (1992), Baker (1997), Grimmett et al. 
(1999), del Hoyo et al. (2006), Svensson et al. 
(2009), Brazil (2009), Svensson et al. (2010), 
and Kennerley and Pearson (2010). In addi- 
tion, our correspondence about the Gambell 
bird with Lars Svensson, Peter Kennerley, 
Paul Leader, Martin Garner, and Phil Round 
has provided clarihcation of multiple aspects 
of the field identification of smaller Acro- 
ccphalus warblers. 

Black-browed Reed Warbler. This distinc- 
tive species has a bold supercihum that ex- 
tends clearly and distinctly well behind the 


eye, where it flares slightly and terminates 
squarely. Bordering this supercilium above is a 
distinct blackish border that gives the species 
its English name. The head pattern is distinct 
in young birds and adults, including worn 
birds. In addition, Black-browed Reed has 
rather long primary projection. This combina- 
tion of features indicates that the Gambell bird 
was not a Black-browed Reed Warbler. 

Streaked Reed Warbler. Like Black-browed 
Reed, Streaked Reed Warbler shows a broad 
supercilium that extends well behind eye and 
a dark “brow” separating the supercilium from 
the pale crown, which shows darker streaking 
or stippling. Streaked Reed also shows, in all 
ages, dark in the pale back, strong contrasts in 


8 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



BLYTH'S REED WARBLER AT GAMBELL, ALASKA 


the upperwing panel (e.g., very dark tertials with crisp pale fringes), and long pri- 
mary projection. These features are completely unlike the Gambell bird, which 
showed uniform upperparts without patterning or streaking and rather short pri- 
mary projection. 

Manchurian Reed Warbler. In comparison to the Gambell bird, Manchurian 
Reed Warbler shows a somewhat bolder supercilium behind the eye. Though not 
as strong as the mark in Black-browed Reed and Streaked Reed, a dark brow be- 
tween supercilium and crown is still apparent. In all plumages, the rump and up- 
pertail coverts have a distinctly rufous tone, in contrast to the cooler tones of back 
and tail — very unlike the uniform upperparts of the Gambell warbler. Also, the 
wing pattern of Manchurian Reed Warbler shows more internal contrast (e.g., 
more warmly toned tertial edges to tertials) than the Gambell warbler. Adult 
Manchurian Reed shows warm rufous-buff wash to breast, flanks, and undertail 
coverts. Several sources indicate that Manchurian Reed may be most easily con- 
fused with Black-browed Reed Warbler in worn plumage. 

Paddyfield Warbler. Like the three species treated above, Paddyfield Warbler 
has a conspicuous supercilium that extends well behind the eye, to the rear of 
the ear coverts. This supercilium is typically widest behind the eye, thus quite 
different from the Gambell warbler. The upperparts, including nape and 
rump/uppertail area, are decidedly rufous in tone. In fresh plumage, the tertials 
of Paddyfield Warbler have noticeable rufous fringes, the alula is contrastingly 
dark, and the undertail coverts have a buff or rufous wash — all unlike the Gam- 
bell warbler. The leg color in Paddyfield varies from fleshy brown to yellow- 
brown but never grayish brown, as in the Gambell warbler. Finally, Paddyfield 
has a relatively small, fine bill. 

Blunt-winged Warbler. The upperparts of Blunt-winged Warbler, particular- 
ly the rump, show strong rufous tones, and the tail is typically darker than the 
mantle. As in Manchurian Reed and Paddyfield, the tertials have broad, con- 
trasting rufous fringes when fresh. These three species also share typically a con- 
trastingly dark alula with pale-brown fringe, not shown by the Gambell Acw- 
cephalus. As its name suggests, Blunt-winged has a veiy short primary projection 
that does not even extend to the base of the tail. Grimmett et al. (1999), Brazil 
(2009), and Kennerley and Pearson (2010) indicate that Blunt-winged has warm 
buffy tones in the undertail coverts — and that the rump and uppertail coverts are 
warmer in tone than the back. Grimmett et al. (1999) note that Blunt-winged 
Warblers in worn plumage “retain rufous coloration to rump.” 

Marsh Warbler. Most Marsh Warblers have straw- or flesh-colored legs and 
feet. Marsh Warblers in fresh plumage show pale tertial and secondary edges, no- 
ticeable pale primary tips, and a white-edged, dark alula; the Gambell warbler 
showed none of these features. Marsh Warbler also has much longer primary pro- 
jection than the Gambell bird. Some Marsh Warblers show a warm rusty rump, 
but many do not. Several aspects of Marsh Warbler are subtler or even subjective 
but nevertheless appear not to pertain to the Gambell warbler. Marsh often shows 
a contrast between pale breast and brighter whiter throat (Parmenter and Byers 
1991, Kennerley and Pearson 2010), unlike the Gambell bird. When not agitat- 
ed, Marsh often appears to have a more rounded head and slightly shorter bill 
than very similar species such as Blyths Reed, which tends to show a sleeker, 
longer looking head and flatter forehead (Baker 1997, Svensson et al. 2009, Ken- 
nerley and Pearson 2010). Marsh Warbler is considered in more detail below. 

Eurasian Reed Warbler. In fresh plumage, Eurasian Reed Warblers are warm- 
ly colored above, though some individuals of the eastern subspecies (fuscus) are 
a duller, grayer brown above and paler below, thus more similar to Blyths Reed. 
Eastern fuscus, however, still shows a contrasting warm brown rump, and the 
dark tertials show contrasting, warm-toned fringes, both unlike the Gambell war- 
bler. Eurasian Reed Warbler has longer primary projection than the Gambell bird 
as well. In fresh plumage, Eurasian Reed shows a warmer, rusty-buff wash to 
breast, flanks, and vent, though differences in this appearance between Marsh, 
Eurasian Reed, and Blyth’s Reed may be very slight. Some Eurasian Reed Warblers 
show duskiness or weak mottling in the lores (fore-supercilium), such that the 
supercilium is indistinct between the eye and bill, though this may not be true of 
fuscus (Parmenter and Byers 1991), and the supercilium typically does not extend 



Figures 14, 15, and 16. From top to bottom, these images of first-year Eurasian 
Reed Warbiers of the nominate subspecies were taken at Spurn, England (late 
July), at Unst, Shetland, Scotland (8 October 2009), and at the latter location 
again (8 October 2010). This species shows a weak supercilium compared to that 
shown by Blyth's Reed Warbler. In Eurasian Reed, it is often the eyering that at- 
tracts one's attention first, rather than the supercilium, as in Blyth's Reed and 
Marsh Warblers. Also in these photographs, note the much longer primary exten- 
sion than the Blyth's Reed at Gambell, and contrasting edges in remiges, particu- 
larly in the tertials. Photographs by Martin Garner. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) 


NUMBER 1 


9 



BLYTH'S REED WARBLER AT GAMBELL, ALASKA 



Figure 17. This first-year Marsh Warbler was photographed at Unst, 
Shetland, Scotland on 26 September 2009. Although not all Marsh War- 
blers show such strikingly pale legs and feet, they do all have noticeably 
pale legs and feet. Marsh Warblers also show more contrast in the wing 
panel than Blyth's Reed Warbler, with dark-centered alula and tertials 
that have pale edges, visible here. Photgraph by Mike Weedon. 



Figures 1 8, 1 9. These photographs of the little-known Large-billed Reed 
Warbler were taken on the breeding grounds at Goz Khun, Afghanistan 
(top; 8 June 2009) and near Zebak village, Afghanistan (14 June 2009). 
Although similar in plumage to Blyth's, the species shows an appreciably 
longer bill. Photographs by Wildlife Conservation Society/Afghanistan. 


behind the eye in Eurasian Reed. Thus the face pattern is plainer and less contrasting 
than in Blyth’s Reed, for instance (Baker 1997, Svensson et al. 2009, Kennerley and 
Pearson 2010). Eurasian Reed Warbler is also considered in more detail below. 

Large-billed Reed Warbler. This little-known species is very similar in plumage to 
Blyth’s Reed Warbler (see below), and field-apparent differences between the two have 
yet to be worked out. The fullest account, mostly based on specimen material (Svens- 
son et al. 2010), indicates that Large-billed Reed has a buff and/or olive-ochre cast on 
the undertail coverts, thus differing from Blyth’s Reed, which shows distinctly whitish 
undertail coverts. Bill length and shape differs between the two, but the very longest- 
billed Blyth’s Reed might be difficult to distinguish from Large-billed Reed (reports of 
Large-billed Reed Warblers with shorter bills appear to involve errors in the measure- 
ment [Timmins et al. 2010j). In addition to having a longer bill. Large-billed Reed has 
a “broader and more wedge-shaped bill in dorsal view” (Svensson et al. 2010; cf. Tim- 
mins et al. 2010). Other distinctions between these species are considered below. 

Blyth’s Reed Warbler. This species is described by all sources as being a small, gen- 
erally drab and uniformly colored Acrocephaliis with olive-brown to medium brown 
upperparts that show warmer tones in young birds in fresh plumage. The uniform ap- 
pearance of the upperparts separates Blyth’s Reed from many other taxa, and this uni- 
formity pertains to two areas in particular. Eirst, the rump and uppertail coverts show 
no color contrast with the tail or back. Second, the wing panel lacks contrasting areas, 
whereas other taxa show contrasts between the darker tertials and alula and their paler, 
warmly colored finges, as well as between the dark tertials and alula and the rest of the 
wing panel. Eirst-year birds of many Acrocephaliis taxa show warmer tones in the dor- 
sal plumage than adults (Kennerley and Pearson 2010). In Blyth’s Reed Warbler, both 
first-year birds and adults are uniform in plumage tone above, but the former are more 
warmly toned or rufous-washed above (Parmenter and Byers 1991, Kennerley and 
Leader 1992, Svensson 1992, Baker 1997, del Hoyo et al. 2006, Svensson et al. 2009, 
Kennerley and Pearson 2010). This description accords very well with the appearance 
of the bird at Gambell. 

Like the Gambell warbler, Blyth’s Reed shows a distinct supercilium that extends just 
barely behind the eye, not continuing strongly behind the eye, and the supercilium is 
not dull or mottled in front of the eye. As noted in several sources (e.g., Parmenter and 
Byers 1991, Baker 1997, Svensson et al. 2009, Kennerley and Pearson 2010), the face 
pattern of Blyth’s Reed may be reasonably distinct from some similar species, with its 
combination of a supercilium bulging slightly in front of the eye and whitish area fad- 
ing but noticeable behind the eye — relatively short, somewhat diffuse, but always 
there — and the fact that the darker eyeline runs to a point behind the iris as a “spur,” 
i.e., a short, thin, dark line (Eigures 1, 5). Below, Blyth’s Reed is mostly dull pale, with 
a slight buff wash to the sides and flanks but with a whitish vent and undertail coverts, 
lacking warm rusty-buff tones, as in tbe Gambell warbler (Eigures 5-11). The legs are 
always dull grayish or similar color, not distinctly pale. 

Overall, then, Blyth’s Reed is more uniform above than other similar taxa (lacks the 
contrasting warm tone in the rump/uppertail coverts); has a stronger face pattern with 
bolder supercilium that extends clearly if slightly behind eye; has a more shallowly 
sloped forehead; shows a more uniform wing panel (lacks contrastingly dark-centered, 
pale-edged alula and tertials); has darker legs than some similar taxa (especially Marsh 
Warbler); and has shorter primary extension than most of the similar taxa (Kennerley 
and Leader 1992, Svensson 1992, Baker 1997, del Hoyo et al. 2006, Svensson et al. 
2009, Kennerley and Pearson 2010). 

Eurasian authorities, in correspondence on the Gambell warbler, stressed the impor- 
tance of the uniform upperparts and the strong supercilium (both in front of and just be- 
hind the eye) as indicative of Blyth’s Reed, in dose agreement with the newly published 
Reed and Bush Warblers (Kennerley and Pearson 2010). Paul Leader also indicated that the 
hying bird looked a bit too long-tailed for Eurasian Reed or Marsh, while Phil Round com- 
mented the flying bird appeared to have shorter wings than expected in these two species. 
Kennerley and Pearson (2010), however, offer a caution concerning impressions of pro- 
portions: “In the field, Blyth’s Reed often gives the impression of being longer-billed and 
shorter-winged than either Marsh or Eurasian Reed Warblers, and the tail seems propor- 
tionately longer than in either of these species. Although this long-tailed impression may 
be apparent in the field, this is not supported by measurements, which show there is con- 
siderable overlap with Marsh and Eurasian Reed. In fact, the longer-tailed appearance is an 


10 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


BLYTH'S REED WARBLER AT 6AMBELL, ALASKA 



Figure 20. Blyth's Reed Warbler breeds from southern Finland soyth to Belarus and eastward across Russia and northern Kaza- 
khstan to northern Mongolia. Small numbers have been found nesting in eastern Poland in recent years (Kennerley and Pearson 
2010). A small disjunct breeding population occurs in western China (Tien Shien Mountains), southeastern Kazakhstan, and 
eastern Uzbekistan south into eastern Iran and northern Afghanistan. Most Blyth's Reed Warblers winter at lower elevations in 
India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, with a few found to the east as far as western Burma. Map by Virginia Maynard. 


illusion created by the reduced primary projec- 
tion compared with Marsh and Eurasian Reed.” 

The combination of features considered 
above, clearly visible in the many photo- 
graphs — and most of them also noted in the 
field by multiple observers — -is most sugges- 
tive of Blyth’s Reed Warbler but at minimum 
certainly narrows the field of contending 
species to four: Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Large- 
billed Reed Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, 
and Marsh Warbler. As noted. Marsh and 
Eurasian Reed show longer primary extension 
and a more contrasting (much warmer) rump 
and uppertail coverts (particularly Eurasian 
Reed). In fresh plumage at any age, Eurasian 
Reed would also have pale-edged tertials and 
secondaries as well as noticeable pale tips on 
primaries. In comparison to Eurasian Reed 
and Marsh, the lores of Blyth’s Reed show 
more white (Figures 12, 13) — again, a good fit 
for the Gambell warbler (cf. Figure 1). 
Eurasian Reed would typically show a duller 
supercilium in front of the eye, but a more no- 
ticeable eyering, and both Eurasian Reed and 
Marsh show even less pale behind the eye 
than the Gambell warbler (Figures 14-17, cf. 
Figures 1, 5). Marsh would also show paler 
legs than the Gambell warbler, as well as dark- 
er alula and tertials, with contrasting pale 
edges particularly noticeable in the tertials 
(Figure 17). Some sources (e.g., Baker 1997) 
indicate that Eurasian Reed Warbler has a 
darker bill, including the mandible, than 
Blyth’s Reed, but other sources do not (Ken- 
nerley and Pearson 2010). 

■■ Most published material on identification 
of Acrocephalus includes extensive considera- 
tion of wing morphology (wing formula), that 
is, the mathematical description of the distal 
end of the wing, in which relationships among 
the primaries, in terms of relative length and 
shape, are described and quantified. For rea- 
sons related to feather homology and molt, 
North American ornithologists number pri- 
maries from inside out (since the outermost 
primary, plO, can be absent in some species 
and present in other species), but many Old 
World ornithologists number primaries from 
the outermost inward, with pL being the ves- 
tigial (very short) outermost primary and plO 
being the innermost primary, adjacent the first 
secondary (si). We follow the Old World 
numbering scheme here, in accordance with 
our chief references (e.g., Kennerley and Pear- 
son 2010). Photographs of the Gambell war- 
bler show emargination in p3, p4, p5 (Figure 
6) — that is, a small but distinct notch or in- 
dentation in the outer web of these three 
feathers. Blyth’s Reed Warbler has emargina- 
tion in p3 and p4 and sometimes also in p5, 
.whereas both Marsh Warbler and Eurasian 


Reed Warbler have emargination only in p3 
(Williamson 1974, Kennerley and Pearson 
2010, Timmins et al. 2010). In some Eurasian 
Reed Warblers of the eastern subspecies, fus- 
cus, p4 may have slight emargination near the 
tip (Svensson 1992). Baker (1997) indicates 
that the primary emarginations in Blyth’s Reed 
(involving two or three primaries) differ not 
only in their number from Eurasian Reed 
(with just one primary clearly emarginated) 
but also that in Blyth’s Reed, on the closed 
wing, the emarginations fall below the level of 
the longest tertial tip (Figure 1) — rather than 
in front of the tip, as in Eurasian Reed. Ac- 
cording to Svensson et al. (2010), in Large- 
billed Reed Warbler, p3-5 “are equally promi- 
nently emarginated in nearly all birds, only 
rarely less than full emargination on p5, and 
sometimes an emargination faintly also on 
p6,” in contrast to Blyth’s Reed, in which “p3- 
4 are usually prominently emarginated, with a 
less prominent emargination on p5, but a few 
have equally prominent emarginations on all 
three feathers” (cf. Timmins et al. 2010). A 
larger sample size is probably needed to pro- 
vide a clear understanding of variation in 
Large-billed Reed in this and other features (L. 
Svensson, in litt.). 

In reviewing the photographs of the Gam- 
bell warbler in flight, several people have com- 
mented that p2 appears to be shorter than p4 


and approximately equal in length to p5-7 (see 
Figure 6), correct for Blyth’s Reed (Kennerley 
and Pearson 2010). Marsh Warbler, by con- 
trast, has p2 equal in length to about p3-5, as 
do Eurasian Reed Warblers of all subspecies 
(Svensson 1992, Kennerley and Pearson 
2010). Large-billed Reed has p2 equal in 
length to p6/7, 7, 7/8, or 8/9 (Svensson et al. 
2010); the same authors indicate that Blyth’s 
Reed has p2 equal in length to “p3/6 or 6, and 
never 8/9.” However, assessments of differ- 
ences in relative length of primaries from pho- 
tographs are untested and potentially unreli- 
able. Such formulas were developed and ap- 
plied vAth live birds in the hand and with spec- 
imens, with wings closed, and are untested on 
photographs of flying Acrocephalus of known 
identity, for instance. Thus assessment from 
photographs of flying birds with wings fully 
spread should not be considered conclusive. 

Thus, in the case of the Acrocephalus at 
Gambell on 9 September 2010, we are able to 
rule out both Marsh Warbler and Eurasian 
Reed Warbler, including the eastern sub- 
species fiiscus of the latter. We are left with 
Blyth’s Reed Warbler, an abundant species 
with a very broad distribution, and Large- 
billed Reed Warbler, an apparently rare 
species with very restricted range. Although 
our understanding of the field identification 
of Large-billed Reed Warbler is still in its in- 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


11 


I BLYTH'S REED WARBLER AT GAMBELL, ALASKA 


fancy, Lars Svensson (in litt.) and Peter Ken- 
nerley (in litt.) note that the Gambell Acro- 
cephahts shows a bill too slight for that 
species. Photographs of Large-billed Reed 
show a longer, more dagger-like bill (Figures 
18, 19). The species apparently also shows 
huffy undertail coverts, at least in many cases, 
very unlike the Gambell bird (Kennerley and 
Pearson 2010, Svensson et al. 2010), but 
more research into this field mark is needed 
(L. Svensson, in litt.). For these reasons, 
Large-billed Reed appears to be ruled out. 
Had the Gambell birds bill appeared broader- 
based, longer, or more dagger-like in shape, 
we would be inclined to consider Large-billed 
as a potential contender, regardless of its rari- 
ty. We conclude that the Gambell Acro- 
cephalus was a typical Blyth’s Reed Warbler, 
very likely a hatch-year bird, as indicated by 
its uniformly fresh, relatively warm plumage. 

Discussion 

Based on Blyth’s Reed Warbler’s breeding range 
(Figure 20), migration pathways, and history 
of vagrancy, it would seem a likely candidate to, 
occur on Bering Sea islands or the Aleutians. 
The easterly breeding range of species such as 
Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia ciirmca) and Spot- 
ted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata), both of 
which had been documented previously at 
Gambell in autumn (Lehman 2003), are rough- 
ly similar. Even breeders from the Western 
Palearctic such as Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus 
sibilatrix) have appeared multiple times in 
Alaska and Japan, and so it is conceivable that 
almost any Acroccphaliis that migrates a medi- 
um or long distance could be found on Saint 
Lawrence Island. However, if “reverse migra- 
tion” is involved in many cases of Eurasian va- 
grants to the Bering Sea in autumn, as has been 
postulated (Lehman and Brinkley 2003), then 
some species would in theory be more likely to 
appear at Gambell than others. A Blyth’s Reed 
Warbler migrating from the northeastern part 
of the breeding range to the western part of the 
wintering range might orient toward the south- 
west; the reverse of that heading is northeaster- 
ly, toward the Bering Sea. (Many other reverse 
courses are conceivable for this species, which 
has a very wide distribution.) By contrast, if we 
understand the much smaller distribution of 
Large-billed Reed Warbler correctly, typical fall 
migrants would orient toward the southeast, 
which translates to a reverse course to the 
northwest, a bearing that would bring a bird to- 
ward southern Scandinavia rather than toward 
eastern Asia or Alaska. Clearly, migrating birds 
misorient in many directions, and for many 
reasons, and so Bering Sea birders must contin- 
ue to consider every possibility in the identifi- 
cation of the Old World vagrants they discover. 


Acknowledgments 

We thank Aaron Lang in particular for his 
many photographs, for posting of photo- 
graphs of the bird on the Internet to com- 
mence discussion, for assembling most of the 
outside comments we received, and for his 
work on several early drafts of the manu- 
script. We are most grateful to Lars Svensson, 
Peter Kennerley, Martin Garner, Paul Leader, 
and Phil Round, who replied generously to 
queries about the Gambell bird’s identifica- 
tion. We thank Norm Budnitz, Barrett Pierce, 
and David Sonneborn for quickly and gra- 
ciously supplying us with their photographs 
of the Gambell bird. Bill Mauck assisted Lang 
and Lehman with the shingle measurements; 
Claudia Angle, Bill Blakeslee, and Paul W. 
Sykes, Jr. provided us with several references 
and photographs of specimens; Lars Svensson 
and Urban Olsson supplied numerous useful 
references; and Martin Garner, Colin Poole, 
Douglas Wechsler, Daniel Thomas, Paul Holt, 
Robert Timmins, Mike Weedon, Stephane Os- 
trowski, and the Afghanistan Program of the 
Wildlife Conservation Society provided ex- 
tensive assistance with photographic materi- 
al. Virginia Maynard prepared the map used 
in Figure 20. P A. Buckley, Peter Pyle, and 
Martin Garner supplied many helpful com- 
ments on early drafts of this paper. All have 
our deepest gratitude. 

Literature cited 

Aye, R., S. T. Hertwig, and M. Schweizer. 2010. 
Discovery of a breeding area of the enigmat- 
ic Large-billed Reed Warbler Acrocephalus 
orims. Journal of Avian Biology 41; 452-459. 
Baker, K. 1997. Warblers of Europe, Asia and 
North Africa. Princeton University Press, 
Princeton, New Jersey. 

Bensch, S., and D. Pearson. 2002. The Large- 
billed Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orinus re- 
visited. Ibis 144: 259-267. 

Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: China, Tai- 
wan, Korea, Japan, and Russia. Princeton 
University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 
del Hoyo, J., A. Elliot, and D. A. Christie. 2006. 
Handbook of the Birds of the World, Volume 
11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World War- 
blers. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain. 
Grimmett, R., C. Inskipp, and T. Inskipp. 
1999. A Guide to the Birds of India, Pakistan, 
Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and 
the Maldives. Princeton University Press, 
Princeton, New Jersey. 

Harvey, W. G., and R. F Porter. 1984. Field 
identification of Blyth’s Reed Warbler. 
British Birds 77; 393-411. 

. 1986. Mystery photographs. British 

Birds 79: 392-396. 

Kennerley, R R., and R J. Leader. 1992. The 


identification, status, and distribution of 
small Acrocephalus warblers in eastern Chi- 
na. Hong Kong Bird Report 1991: 143-187. 

Kennerley, P R., and D. Pearson. 2010. Reed and 
Bush Warblers. Christopher Helm, London. 

Lehman, P E. 2003. Gambell, Alaska, Au- 
tumn 2002: First North American records 
of Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus), 
Lesser Whitethroat (Sylvia cunmca), and 
Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata). 
North American Birds 57; 4-11. 

Lehman, P. E., and E. S. Brinkley. 2003. The 
Changing Seasons: Unabashed Bonanza. 
North American Birds 57: 14-21. 

Parmenter, T., and C. Byers. 1991. A Guide to 
the Warblers of the Western Palearctic. Bruce 
Coleman Books, Middlesex, United 
Kingdom. 

Rosenberg, G. H., and P. E. Lehman. 2008. Eirst 
North Ameriean record of Sedge Warbler 
(Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) at Gambell, 
Alaska. North American Birds 62: 178-181. 

Strahm, D. 2010. Abenteuer in Tadschikistan; 
Die Entdeckung des Grossschnabel- 
Rohrsangers. Omis May 2010: 15-17. 

Svensson, L. 1992. Identification Guide to Eu- 
ropean Passerines. Fourth edition. Pub- 
lished by the author, Stockholm, Sweden. 

Svensson, L., R. Prys-Jones, P. C. Rasmussen, 
and U. Olsson. 2010. The identification 
and distribution of the enigmatic Large- 
billed Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orinus. 
Ibis 152; 323-334. 

Svensson, L., K. Mullarney, and D. Zetter- 
strom, 2009. Birds of Europe. Second edi- 
tion. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 
New Jersey 

Svensson, L., R. Prys-Jones, P. C. Rasmussen, 
and U. Olsson. 2008. Discovery of ten new 
specimens of Large-billed Reed Warbler 
Acrocephalus orinus, and new insights into 
its distributional range. Journal of Avian Bi- 
ology 39: 605-610. 

Timmins, R. J., S. Ostrowski, N. Mostafawi, 
H. Noori, A. M. Rajabi, U. Olsson, L. 
Svensson, and C. M. Poole. 2010. New in- 
formation on the Large-billed Reed War- 
bler Acrocephalus orinus, including its song 
and breeding habitat in north-eastern 
Afghanistan. Forktail 26: 9-23. 

Timmins, R. J., N. Mostafawi, A. M. Rajabi, H. 
Noori, S. Ostrowski, U. Olsson, L. Svens- 
son, and C. M. Poole. 2009. The discovery 
of Large-billed Reed Warblers Acrocephalus 
orinus in north-eastern Afghanistan. Bind- 
ing Asia 12: 42-45. 

Williamson, K. 1974. Identification for 
Ringers: The Genera Cettia, Locustella, Acro- 
cephalus and Hippolais. Third edition. 
British Trust for Ornithology. Tring, United 
Kingdom. 


12 


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EDWARDS. BRINKLEY 

124 PEACH STREET, CAPE CHARLES, VIRGINIA 23310 
{THALASSOICA@GMAIL.COM) 


TH A M E R I C A N B I R 0 S 


waHiniiiik» 


THE CHANGING SEASONS: bedfellows! 


I n Halifax, Nova Scotia, a Ruby-throated 
Hummingbird dive-bombs and rides a 
regal adult male Magnificent Frigatebird 
over the harbor. 

Near Big Whiteshell Lake, Manitoba, a 
Curve-billed Thrasher picks at trash in a 
dumpster among fussing Gray Jays and Red 
Squirrels. 

Not far away, on the southeastern shores of 
Lake Winnipeg, a female Scarlet Tanager for- 
ages on open beach with Snow Buntings. 

These observations — by Patricia Chalmers 6 
September, Doug Barry 25 September, and 
Robert Parsons and Liis Veelma 8 Novem- 
ber — depict just a few of the odd bedfellows 
in the 150 pages of regional reports in this is- 
sue. It was a good autumn season, it is true, 
for seekers of Snow Buntings and Gray Jays, 
some of each moving well out of usual range, 
but their respective path-crossings with Scar- 
let Tanager and Curve-billed Thrasher are be- 
yond what one imagines a birding day will 
produce, even though vagrancy and late 
dates in thrashers and tanagers no longer 
shock us. Extreme examples such as these re- 
mind us that the autumn, more than any 
other season, produces improbable combina- 
tions of birds, moments in birding that are 
burned into memory all the more beautifully 
because of their strangeness. 

Each autumn, any spot on the continent, 
or off the continent, can become a crossroads 
of birds traveling toward the south, east, 
north, and west, and all compass points in 
between — ^birds riding cold fronts toward tra- 
ditional wintering areas, birds borne by trop- 
ical cyclones far out of range, and those 
enigmatic birds found far north of usual 
range but apparently not displaced there by 
storms in the way hurricane-birds are. In fall 
2010, Canada’s Atlantic Provinces were ideal 
places to experience birding at the cross- 
roads: hummingbirds, swallows, and fly- 
catchers from the West; terns and other 
seabirds from the south; rare geese from the 
north and east, Greenland and Iceland; mod- 
est irruptions of Black-capped Chickadees, 
Northern Saw-whet Owls, and Bohemian 

This adult male Magnificent Frigatefcird atTiscornia Park, 
Berrien County, Michigan 19-22 (here 28) September 2010 was 
the longest-staying frigatebird recorded in the state. This 
species is Irregular in its extralimital appearances, but there has 
been a distinct, long-term increase in reports of v/ayward 
frigatebirds over the past two decades, as with many ether 
southern species. Though some of these birds surf hurricane 
winds, many extralimital frigatebirds, including this one, 
appear to have no clear association with an extreme weather 
event. Photsgmpb by Kml Overman. 


Waxwings; and numerous regular migrants 
heading southward from boreal and Arctic 
nesting grounds. Our essay will focus on the 
most unusual of these phenomena, the strike 
of Hurricane Earl in early September. 

Farther south, at locations saturated with 
birds and birders alike — such as Cape May, 
New Jersey during the annual Autumn 
Weekend in late October — the mix of birds 
provides an optimal occasion to speculate on 
the different vectors of migration involved, 
especially this year, when the Weekend fell 
during the wake of the “Super Storm,” an ex- 
tra-tropical cyclone that had the lowest pres- 
sure of any such system recorded in the 
United States. 

Finally, fall 2010 brought another star to 
the vagrant stage: Anna’s Hummingbird, 
mentioned in twenty regional reports, pro- 
duced firsts in seven states and provinces. 
All of these autumn phenomena are fascinat- 
ing in their own right, and in each can be 
perceived questions relating to the others, 
questions about how and why birds move at 
this time of year. Some of these questions 
will always remain beyond our capacity to 
answer, but others may soon shed their mys- 
tery, as our technologies improve and our fo- 
cus sharpens. 

Thi Weather 

June and July 2010 were among the warmest 
summer months recorded in the mainland 
United States, and the next three months 
would continue the above-average tempera- 
tures: August, the seventh warmest on record 
(and third warmest for the Southeast), was 
2.2° F above the long-term (1901-2000) av- 
erage; September was 1.7° above; and Octo- 
ber was 2.2° above, the eleventh warmest 
October. November returned to near-average 
conditions, with temperatures only 0.8° 
above the average. The urge, when writing 
this Weather section, is to hang out a sign 
that says “Warming, until further notice,” 
and just go birding. 

In August, Bermuda High dominated the 
Southeast, resulting in sweltering conditions 
through the Gulf coast states, north to Ten- 
nessee and occasionally the lower Midwest. 
To the north and west, troughs in the jet 
stream kept much of the rest of the continent 
nearer normal August temperatures, and cool 
fronts brought above-average rains to scat- 
tered locations and some severe weather to 
Minnesota. Nevertheless, large areas of the 
United States, from Texas to the southern 
Great Lakes to the mid-Atlantic, registered 
very dry conditions. Only the West and espe- 


cially Pacific Northwest saw August temper- 
atures near the average. 

The first three weeks of September contin- 
ued August’s pattern, with the Bermuda High 
centered off the Atlantic coast keeping tem- 
peratures high over the Southeast and the jet 
stream still holding sway over much over the 
Lower 48 otherwise. The Bermuda High 
drew most tropical systems away from U.S. 
coasts, but Hurricane Earl made landfall in 
Nova Scotia, and remnants of a few systems 
swept Caribbean islands and Gulf coast 
states. The remnants of Tropical Storm Her- 
mine brought moisture to the Southern Great 
Plains, and the leftovers of Hurricane Karl 
helped ease drought in Texas. Louisiana, 
which had no tropical weather, recorded its 
second driest September, and Alabama had 
its third driest. To the north, seven low-pres- 
sure systems swept along with the jet stream 
brought above-average rain and below-aver- 
age temperatures to the northern-tier states. 
The remains of Karl reached Wisconsin, Min- 
nesota, and South Dakota, where localized 
flooding was a problem; in fact, it was Min- 
nesota’s wettest September on record. As of- 
ten occurs, the summer pattern was broken 
in the last week of September. In the West, a 
dry high-pressure area began to dominate, as 
an upper-level trough built over the East, 
bringing rain and welcome cooler tempera- 
tures into the Southeast. The moisture (and a 
little wind) from Tropical Storm Nicole 
moved across the Jamaica and Cuba toward 
Florida and the Carolinas, which relieved dry 
conditions in many areas. 

The Bermuda High remained active well 
into October and kept much of the East and 
eastern Midwest warmer than normal in the 
first half of the month. With the jet stream 
north of normal, early storm systems by- 
passed the southern Rockies, making Octo- 
ber the fourth warmest in Wyoming and 
seventh warmest in Montana. Later in the 
month, rains reached the Northeast, making 
October the second wettest on record for Ver- 
mont, fourth for New York, and fifth for New 
Hampshire. The memorable “Super Storm” 
in the last week of the month brought bliz- 
zard conditions to the Northern Great Plains 
and some rain (where needed) to the South- 
east. The Pacific coast, and even the South- 
west, had relatively frequent rains, making it 
the wettest October ever for Nevada and sev- 
enth wettest for California. But across much 
of the Lower 48, the absence of rain-bearing 
mid-latitude cyclones and tropical systems 
meant that the Plains, Southeast, and Mid- 
west continued dry, and September gains 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


15 


THE CHANGING SEASONS: BEDFELLOWS 



500 km 




'C 

7.5 

6.5 

5.5 

4.5 

3.5 

2.5 

1.5 
0.5 
-0.5 
■1,5 
-2.5 
-3.5 
-4.5 
-5.5 
-6.5 


Figire 1 . Map depicting the surface air temperature anomaly for autumn (September, October, Kovember] 2010 in Canada. Although 
the most densely populated parts of Canada — the southern Plains, the Great Lakes, the Maritime Provinces, and British Columbia — 
saw autumn temperatures near the average (or even below, as in southern Alberta), the territories, and especially Nunavut, were 
massively warmer than average, as has been true for most autumn seasons in the current century. Image courtesy of Environment 
Cmada/Environnement Canada. 


were erased in some places: Florida had its 
driest October on record, Missouri its fourth, 
and Texas its eighth. 

November 2010 was memorable for its 
abrupt transition to winter-like conditions 
across much of the North. Low-pressure sys- 
tems in the West and the Plains brought 
much-needed snows throughout the month, 
and by the third week of November, snow 
covered nearly a third of the United States 
mainland. In part of the Ohio Valley and Gulf 
coast states, heavy rains helped to ease 
drought conditions. As sea surface tempera- 
tures cooled through the autumn in the east- 
ern tropical Pacific, La Nina conditions 
strengthened, setting up a familiar pattern of 
cooler, wetter conditions in the northern-tier 
states and warmer, drier conditions in the 
southern-tier states. The Arctic Oscillation in- 
dex values were strongly negative in Novem- 
ber, and the East accordingly remained rather 
dry and cold. According to meteorologists 
with the National Climatic Data Center, the 
interplay of these two large-scale atmospheric 
features resulted in conditions at the conti- 
nental level being near the average in the 
Lower 48, while Alaska averaged warmer 
than usual in November. 

And Canada. I hesitated to include Figure 
1. Such images of the warming Arctic, now 
fairly common even in mass-media commu- 
nications, have become terribly dishearten- 
ing. But our duty as birders is to pay attention 
to what is happening, year in and year out, 
not to tune it out. In the past several decades, 
average temperatures in the Arctic have risen 
at almost twice the rate as temperatures else- 
where on the planet, and as birders, we know 
that we have been witnessing the effects of 
that transformation — and that, very probably, 
far more dramatic effects will be manifest in 
years to come. In many parts of our lives, not 
just our birding, we should be prepared for 
the effects of climate change, and work to re- 
duce our own carbon emissions, but also 
carefully report and document what we ob- 
serve. And we should remain guardedly 
hopeful: in 2011, the Arctic Council may 
seek reductions in soot, which appears to ac- 
celerate melting of snow and ice, and this 
could perhaps buy a little time as countries 
come to grips with ways to reduce atmos- 
pheric carbon dioxide. 

In looking at Figure 1, we see that the 
months of September, October, and Novem- 
ber were much, much warmer than average in 
the Bird Conservation Region called the “Arc- 
tic Plains and Mountains” (BCR 3) and well 
warmer than average across much of the 
“Taiga Shield and Hudson Plains” (BCR 7). 


Needless to say, this vast region — about three 
million square kilometers in all — receives the 
least amount of birding coverage of any part 
of North America. So how can we begin to say 
anything meaningful about changes in this 
part of the world, where most of us have 
never been? In fact, we cannot really say 
much about it; even if many dozens of us 
were to mount expeditions to the region, we 
could cover very little area, and we have scant 
baseline data through which we could per- 
ceive trends. 

We do, however, have a fair amount of in- 
formation about birds where we live. So 
when, for instance, unusually large numbers 
of Black-legged Kittiwakes appeared in the 
Lower 48 states, especially in the Great Plains 
and Great Lakes, in autumn 2010 — about 87 
birds, plus two in Texas and outlier singles in 
Kentucky and southwestern Pennsylvania, 
both 4 November — we record and report that 
here. When even rarer Ross’s Gulls appear out 
of range in the same season (in southern 
Yukon, Colorado, Nebraska/South Dakota, 
plus two in Michigan), and when an Ivory 
Gull appears in Pismo Beach, California, we 
witness and document that. When Dovekies 
launch a flight in the hundreds off Nova Sco- 
tia in October that reaches North Carolina (in 
record-breaking numbers) by Christmas, we 


are the group that sees and speaks. We talk to 
scientists, to the media, and to our friends 
and family. They have heard about the lost 
Polar Bears; but have they heard that a Great 
Black-backed Gull and a Northern Gannet 
were found in Alaska last fall, probably the re- 
sult of melting Arctic sea ice? 

We may feel sometimes that when we sub- 
mit data to regional editors, or when we 
plunk our daily checklists into eBird, that the 
value of our observations is limited. But con- 
sider another bird of the North, one that most 
of us actively seek out during the autumn mi- 
gration: Buff-breasted Sandpiper. The U.S. 
Shorebird Conservation Plan rated this hand- 
some species “Highly Imperiled” in its most 
recent update. Once a bird that existed in the 
millions, hunting and habitat loss have re- 
duced its populations to about 15,000 indi- 
viduals in 2010. So every report of every 
migrant Buff-breasted Sandpiper counts. We 
birders know how to find them, we know 
when they pass through our areas between 
late August and early October, and we should 
spread the word to our fellow birders: report 
every single Buff-breasted Sandpiper that you 
see. And enjoy each one. Arguably, every bird 
species that nests in the taiga and tundra 
habitats of Alaska and Canada deserves this 
level of attention and appreciation. 


16 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 





My Name Is Earl 

Blake Maybank provides context for the thou- 
sands of birds found in the wake of Hurricane 
Earl in early September (Figure 2). “From a 
Nova Scotian birder’s perspective, Hurricane 
Earl was a ‘perfect storm.”’ He explains: 

• Earl had the perfect track, coming up from 
the Caribbean, passing alongside (but not 
over) the eastern seaboard of the United 
States, making first landfall in Nova Scotia; 

« Earl was wide enough and strong enough 
to pick up coastal and pelagic seabirds 
(some probably from North Carolina) but 
weak enough so that many of the birds 
swept up in the storm survived the journey 
to arrive on Nova Scotia’s shores; 

• Unlike in Hurricane Juan of 2003, rela- 
tively little damage or disruption to power 
occurred as a result of Earl’s passage; 

• Earl struck Nova Scotia in the morning, 
with the worst of the rain and wind finish- 
ing by noon, giving time for birders to seek 
out ‘hurricane birds’; and 

• Earl arrived on the Saturday of the long 
Labour Day weekend, so that most birders 
were able not only to search for birds but 
also to chase discovered rarities.” 

As we often read in these pages: one hates to 
think of destructive storms in terms of regional 
rarities. But virtually all birders are fascinated 
by changes in birdlife in their local area — and 
there is no more radical or rapid change in bird 
status and distribution than during and after a 
tropical cyclone that makes landfall. We regu- 
larly scramble to locate birds after most other 
meteorological phenomena, whether warm 
front, cold front, fogbank, or snowstorm, so 
surely we would not ignore tropical weather 
systems, despite their awful costs. We are stu- 
dents of the here and now, after all. 

Maybank’s analysis considers storm track, 
strength, damage, time of landfall, and timing 
within the holiday/weekend calendar as opti- 
m,al both for the transportation of seabirds 
and for observation of them. All of these 
points are salient. Having guest-edited the re- 
gional report for the Atlantic Provinces for the 
fall season, I had the unexpected pleasure of 
revievUng records of thousands of gulls, terns, 
and shorebirds, and hundreds of storm-pe- 
trels, in some detail. The history of landfalling 
hurricanes in the East provides plenty of con- 
text for analyzing Labor Day weekend storms 
in the United States — but almost none for the 
corresponding Labour Day weekend in 
Canada. Indeed, Donna of 1960 was the most 
recent early September storm to hit Nova Sco- 
tia with birds, and Gladys of October 1968 


(Finch 1969; Figure 3) has been the only 
well-documented hurricane with comparable 
avian cargo that made landfall there. So we 
will look at Earl of 2010 (not to be confused 
with the Earl of 1998) first in terms of U.S. 
storms in early September, then in compari- 
son with Gladys of October 1968. 

In the Atlantic Provinces, the bread-and- 
butter birds of Earl were, as expected. Laugh- 
ing Gulls (thousands), terns (about 830 in 
total), and Black Skimmers; most of these 
were found in Nova Scotia (Table 1). Single 
Sabine’s Gulls made appearances in Maine 
and Massachusetts, and notable records of 
terns in New England after the storm in- 
cluded five Royals, four Sandwich, and two 
Gull-billed, plus 23 Forster’s Terns in Maine 9 
September. Twenty-one Black Skimmers were 
also seen between Maine and New Hamp- 
shire, and some also lingered into October 
there. Tn addition. New England birders also 
tallied thousands of Laughing Gulls (many 
juveniles) after the storm, and Quebec birders 
reported about 10. 

The overall tally of terns may not seem 
overwhelming to a U.S. birder, but consider 
how rarely many of these species have been 
seen in Nova Scotia. Royal Tern appeared in 
the province after Hurricanes Helene (1958), 
Donna (1960), Gladys (1968), and Beth 
(1971), plus a very few times in summer out- 
side the context of storms. Forster’s Tern was 
also seen after Helene, Donna, and Gladys, as 
well as on about two dozen other occasions. 
Gull-billed Tern, with just over a dozen 


Table 1 . Estimates of birds observed in Nova Scotia as a result 
of the landfall of Hurricane Earl, 5 September 2010 and later. 

Laughing Gull 

3000 

Lesser Biack-backed Gull 

40 

Bridled Tern 

1 

Least Tern 

5 

Gull-billed Tern 

7 

Caspian Tern 

18 

Black Tern 

12 

Roseate Tern 

6 

Common Tern 

625 

Arctic Tern 

16 

Forster's Tern 

90 

Royal Tern 

38 

Sandwich Tern 

9 

Black Skimmer 

126 

South Polar Skua 

2 

Pomarine Jaeger 

7 

Parasitic Jaeger 

11 

Long-tailed Jaeger 

2 


THE CHANGING SEASONS: BEDFELLOWS 


records (few recent), also qualifies as a real 
rarity in the province. So this storm brought a 
mother lode to Nova Scotia — and for the first 
time since 1968. Eric Mills, who compiled 
records for this hurricane for Nova Scotia 
Birds, was birding back in 1968, as were sev- 
eral other veterans, but for most of the 
province’s birders, this was an event without 
precedent. And it goes without saying that 
field identification information (and skills), 
birding coverage, and birder communication 
have all changed a bit since 1968. 

In Nova Scotia, the rough ratio of terns and 
skimmer works out to be about 1 Least: 1 
Gull-billed: 1 Roseate: 2 Black: 2 Sandwich: 3 
Arctic: 4 Caspian: 8 Royal: 26 Black Skimmer: 
45 Forster’s: 125 Common. The single Bridled 
Tern was a first for Nova Scotia. These pro- 
portions show some consistencies with Labor 
Day storms from the United States, but there 
are several stark differences. First, tropical 
terns and Black Terns are very much under- 
represented: landfalling Cape Verde-origin 
storms at this time of year in the United States 
have plenty of Sooty Terns and usually more 
Bridled and Black Terns than counted in Earl 
Second, Black Skimmers have typically not 
been so numerous in comparable U.S. storms. 
Third, Forster’s Terns, though not unusual in 
Labor Day storms, were surprisingly plentiful 
in Nova Scotia after Earl. 

The lack of Sooty Terns is unexpected, to 
say the least. One could infer, from the record 
of three booties at Ocean City inlet, Maryland 
and 2 at Fort Fisher, North Carolina, both 3 
September, that Earl’s wind speeds were sim- 
ply not sufficient to entrain many Sooty Terns 
as far as Nova Scotia. Earl did have winds in 
the Category 4 class through 1 September, 
and Cape Verde hurricanes of this sort invari- 
ably carry Sooty Terns, including those that 
weaken before landfall, such as David (1979). 
Even very weak storms of Caribbean origin at 
this season, such as Ernesto (2006), often 
have plenty of Sooty Terns with them. Let us 
say that if monetary wagers had been placed 
on the tern numbers detected in Nova Scotia, 
I would have taken out another mortgage to 
settle debts; and if a single tropical tern was to 
be the only waif, I would not have bet on Bri- 
dled, which is usually outnumbered by Sooty 
in such storms and usually seems to “drop 
out” of storms south of where Sooty does, as 
often described in these pages. 

Many hurricane-birders have noted, how- 
ever, that Sooty Terns are often the first 
pelagic species to clear out from landfall sites 
after rains have passed and winds have sub- 
sided; in fact, during some storms {Isabel of 
2003, for instance), Sooty Terns have been 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


17 



THE CHANGING SEASONS: BEDFELLOWS 



Figure 2. Track of Hurricane Earl, 25 August-S September 2010. Mote the similarity in the last few days of the storm's activ- 
ity to the track of Hurricane Number Three of 1924 (Figure 4), one of two hurricanes to strike Nova Scotia that year. Al- 
though it hit the province almost seven weeks later in the fall season and had a very different history, Gladys of 1968 
(Figure 3) brought tens of thousands of Laughing Gulls and many hundreds of Black Skimmers to Nova Scotia. Records of ob- 
servations in August 1924 are much less complete than we have for 2010, but minimally hundreds of skimmers were found 
after the 1924 storm as well. Image courtesy of WikimediaCommom. 



Figure 3. Track of Hurricane Gladys, 15-21 October 1968. Despite a track well offshore and mostly to the east of Nova Sco- 
tia — and despite winds less intense than those of Earl — Gladys appears to have transported even more birds to Nova Scotia 
than Earl, though most were apparently Laughing Gulls and Black Skimmers, with smaller number/variety of terns detected 
than after Earl (with, of course, many fewer observers). Weaker storms may in fact allow more birds to survive displacement 
and return homeward than powerful storms. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 


primarily observed during rather than after the 
storm, at least at some latitudes. In early September 
2008, teams of birders stationed in many areas dur- 
ing the passage of Tropical Storm Hanna turned up 
Sooty Terns only where there were strong rain/wind 
bands, not elsewhere (Adams and Hafner 2009). So 
perhaps Sooty Terns were present in Nova Scotia but 
moved through with the storm or departed very 
quickly afterward, before most birders had mobi- 
lized? The solution to this puzzle may be the signifi- 
cant weakening of the storm east of New England, 
which may have allowed some birds to move out of 
the storm. Birding Nantucket on 3 September, Dick 
Veit and Vern Laux counted 680 Black Terns as Earl 
passed to the east — yet only a dozen were discovered 
in Nova Scotia 4-5 September. 

The other apparent anomaly in Earl, at least in 
terms of U.S. storms, was the abundance of Black 
Skimmer. Taking a look at the storm’s track (Figure 
2), we see that it brushed the Outer Banks of North 
Carolina but otherwise did not interact with land 
until Nova Scotia. While many species of terns for- 
age over, and migrate through, waters of the South- 
ern Atlantic Bight and offshore of the Caribbean 
islands in September, skimmers do not forage far off- 
shore, and though their fall migration is not well un- 
derstood, one would not expect large numbers to be 
to sea in early September. So how do so many skim- 
mers become entrained in an offshore storm like 
this? Do they fly with the storm winds, forsaking the 
lee of coastal beaches for gale winds? Or were they 
picked up while out over the ocean? 

Earlier hurricanes may provide some clue here. 
Black Skimmers are plain rare in eastern Canada. 
There are confirmed summer records from Cape 
Sable (20 July 1964) and from Sable Island (14 Au- 
gust 1965), but otherwise most pre-Earl records 
were in the context of hurricanes, Gladys of 1968 
and Hurricane Three of 1924 (Figure 4). It is only 
known that “many” skimmers were seen in 1924 
(Tufts 1986), and observers could only estimate 
“hundreds” in 1968, but at least 200 were still at Jed- 
dore as late as 1 November 1968 (Finch 1969). As 
with Earl, the tracks of these storms stay offshore af- 
ter passing close to Cape Hatteras, but one storm oc- 
curred in August, the other in October. The 
eight-week span between these storms suggests, I 
think, that roosting skimmers are pulled off the 
beaches rather than being entrained during offshore 
migration. The same could well have been true of 
Nova Scotia’s many Forster’s Terns, a species that is 
not terribly pelagic in early September. As after 
Gladys, skimmers were recorded along the New Eng- 
land coast in late autumn 2010, as their numbers be- 
gan to dwindle in Nova Scotia. But it is not clear that 
any of these New England skimmers had come south 
from Nova Scotia, and there is reason to be con- 
cerned about the storm’s impact on the North At- 
lantic population of this vulnerable species. 

As for tubenoses, the numbers of Leach’s Storm- 


18 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 




THE CHANGING SEASONS; BEDFELLOWS 


Petrels seen from seawatches (and seen flying over- 
head, for some observers!) were impressive, but no 
other species was confirmed, unlike in many recent 
September storms in the United States. Earl's center 
of circulation passed essentially along the Atlantic 
coast of Nova Scotia. Had it instead transited the Bay 
of Fundy, as did the first of two 1924 hurricanes 
(Figure 4), other species, particularly tubenoses as- 
sociated with the Gulf Stream, might well have been 
discovered. This speculation rests on two observa- 
tions from storms of the past three decades or so. 
First, many of the birds in hurricanes seem to travel 
in the strongest part of the storm, the “right-front” 
quadrant, which during Earl’s passage through Nova 
Scotia stayed largely near or over the ocean (perhaps 
the Sooty Terns were here?). Second, many 
tubenoses appear to avoid passing over land or land- 
like structures v/hen moving within storms (espe- 
cially during daylight, and especially when vhnds are 
below hurricane force), but in Nova Scotia there 
were no large-scale embayments, no impediments to 
birds that might have been moving with Earl. A 
storm moving up the Bay of Fundy might see “fall- 
outs” of at least some tubenoses, as they became bot- 
tlenecked in the terminal northern branches of the 
Bay of Fundy — Cobequid Bay and Chignecto Bay — 
and probably in the Minas Channel/Basin areas as 
well. (Maybe a watch from Cape Split Road, past 
Scots Bay, during a high tide?) 

The least expected birds reported just after Earl in 
Nova Scotia were those with little history of long- 
distance displacement by such storms: Snowy Plover 
and Brown Pelican, both in the Halifax area. The 
plover is not found regularly anywhere along the 
storm’s track, though it is increasing as a rare visitor 
along the Atlantic coast of the Southeast (Georgia 
and South Carolina had singles in August) — thus a 
double vagrant. But Brown Pelicans? Aren’t they 
comro.on coastally in the Southeast? They are, and 
certainly, in a few cases, scores have been suspected 
of having been displaced more than a hundred miles, 
as during Bertha of 1996. And after Gulf hurricanes 
in recent years, such as Ivan, Dennis, Katrina, Ike, 
and Gustav, and even after small storms like Erin, 
Dolly, and Edouard, inland records of Brown Pelicans 
have been attributed to storm activity, though many 
other records from the interior show no obvious 
connection to a storm (as is true of frigatebirds). In 
Arizona, Gary Rosenberg and Mark Stevenson attrib- 
uted an incursion of 30 Brown Pelicans in mid-No- 
vember 2010 to a strong wind event, so tropical 
weather is not the only potential source of such 
birds. However, in the history of hurricane-displaced 
birds, one finds no strong pattern of pelicans in the 
Northeast or Atlantic Canada after tropical cyclones. 
Had the Brown Pelican that ended up at Cole Har- 
bour been swept up while over the ocean, or was it 
pulled off a beach somewhere, as the skimmers may 
have been? 

Tropical cyclones keep a birder’s mind in perpetual 



Figure 4. Track of Hurricane Number Three, 1 6-27 August 1 924. Based on our recent observations of storm-displaced 


seabirds, the timing, strength, and track of this storm suggest that it would have transported reasonably high number of 
terns and probably also Gulf Stream tubenoses into the Bay of Fundy. As this storm passed off Nantucket on 26 August, the 
passenger liner SSAmbk was struck by a rogue wave estimated to be ICO feet high; the ship limped into New York the next 
day, with 75 injured. Image courtesy of W/ikimediaCommom. 



Figure 5. This juvenile Upland Sandpiper was found grounded by heavy rain and high winds at Little Pedro Pond in southwest- 
ern Jamaica, as Tropical Storm Nkols began to form in the Caribbean Sea 25 September 201 0. Photograph by Hugh Vaughan. 


speculation: each cyclone has its own history and properties, each interacts with landmasses 
in unique manner, and each produces a different set of birds, birds whose flights with the 
storm surely vary tremendously. Much the same is true of strong extra-tropical cyclones over 
land — and we will consider next a cyclone every bit as powerful as Earl. 

But before we turn to that system, we should mention a marvelous bird on Jamaica, 
an Upland Sandpiper, found 25 September during BirdLife Jamaica’s field trip to the 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


19 



THE CHANGING SEASONS; BEDFELLOWS 



Figure 6. This image, taken late in the day of 27 October 201 0 by NASA's GOES satellite, shows the center of circulation of the "Super 
Storm" over the Minnesota/Ontario border, with outlying clouds spanning from Alberta, southern Nunavut, and Newfoundland 
through Colorado, Louisiana, and Bermuda. Image courtesy of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 


Figure 7. Weather features map for 27 October 201 0 at 7:00 a.m. EST (850MB height). Meteorologists called this storm a "weather 
bomb," a very fast-developing storm that drops at least one millibar of pressure per hour for 24 consecutive hours (rarely seen in 
storms over large landmasses). Map courtesy of National Climatic Data Center. 


Treasure Beach area, which happened to coin- 
cide with the formation of Tropical Storm 
Nicole from the remnants of Tropical Storm 


Matthew. Among uncommon visitors such as 
Least and Pectoral Sandpipers, Sanderlings, 
and a Wilson’s Phalaropc, John Fletcher and 


fifteen others watched the Upland Sandpiper 
at Little Pedro Pond (Figure 5) for about 
twenty minutes. The only previous Jamaican 
records of this tiny curlew come from Octo- 
ber 1863 — a bird shot by W. T. March on a 
rooftop in Reed’s Pen (now at the Smithson- 
ian) — and from autumn 1999, a single seen at 
Yallahs by Robert and Ann Sutton. In addition 
to the shorebirds, many Neotropical migrant 
passerines were discovered during the unset- 
tled stormy weather (still called “Nicole” by 
the media) that persisted in the area a week 
later. This example reminds us that some of 
the most interesting birds observed as a result 
of tropical storms may not be entrained 
seabirds but grounded migrants, such as 
shorebirds and passerines. And we should be 
especially vigilant in documenting species 
whose populations are in steep decline, such 
as Upland Sandpiper. 

Oktoberfest 

To quote Don Freiday on the Thursday before 
the Friday of the Cape May Autumn Weekend: 

“Although the hawk flight slowed down 
quite a bit in the afternoon today, consider 
that the calm before the bird storm. If 
someone were designing the perfect 
weather pattern for Newjersey Audubon’s 
Cape May Autumn Weekend, this is what 
they would have done. I mean this, what’s 
happening right now, and what’s going to 
happen the next two days. Frontal pas- 
sage + northwesterly winds through Sat- 
urday morning. Hawks, sparrows, 
finches, pipits, late warblers, and, yes, 
robins. Great songbirding Friday and Sat- 
urday, great raptor watching Friday for 
sure, probably Saturday, at least in the 
morning. Stay tuned.” 

Almost a week earlier, I was visiting north- 
ern California as this monstrous storm system 
came ashore to the north. As the rain and 
wind battered the windows in Bodega Bay, I 
watched the system’s progress across the con- 
tinent via birding chat groups. Even before it 
had crossed the Rockies and strengthened 
still more, veteran birders online were com- 
paring the storm to the “Great Storm” of 10- 
11 November 1998, which had its lowest 
pressure measured at 967 millibars (mb) and 
which rained geese and Franklin’s Gulls in the 
Midwest and East (Brinkley 1999), and to the 
fierce gale that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald on 
Lake Superior 10 November 1975 (980 mb). 
As planned pelagic trips had been canceled, 
the leisure to read commentary online pro- 
vided real-time perspective on how birders 



20 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



THE CHANGING SEASONS: BEDFELLOWS 



Figure 8. A species rarely observed on migration on the Atlantic coast of Morth America, Hensiow's Sparrow is often characterized as 
furtive, elusive, or shy. This rather bold individual at Higbee Beach, Cape May, New Jersey was found by Michael O'Brien and group 
during a fallout of tens of thousands of sparrows and thrushes 30 October 201 0; it remained for three days and was enjoyed by many. 
Photograph by Don Freiday. 



Figure 9. Among the least expected birds to appear 29 October 2010 at Cape May during the big fallout was this Common Ground- 
Dove at Cape May Point State Park. This species appeared more often north of its range before 1 980 but appears in recent years to be 
making a quiet comeback as an autumn vagrant. At Cape May, there is a previous local record, from 4 September 1984, plus one more 
recently from 6 October 2009. Photograph by Bob Fogg. 


prepare for and interpret weather events — 
and how astute we are as observers of our en- 
vironment. My birding companions in 
California looked at the packed isobars on the 
weather charts and offered their predictions. 
“Cave Swallows, loads of them, earlier than 
usual.” “Cranes.” “Remember ’98? Franklin’s 
Gulls.” Don Freiday’s confidence in the accu- 
racy of his forecast is clear in his blog post, 
and many birders in the Midwest and North- 
east had similar predictions for bird move- 
ments on their patches. It turns out that 
everyone was pretty much right. This was a 
history-making system, despite the relative 
lack of media interest compared to blizzard- 
bearing cyclones such as the “Storm of the 
Century” of 12-13 March 1993 (960 mb). In 
late October 2010, birds abounded, especially 
at the Atlantic coast' — the Super Storm’s 
equivalent of a hurricane’s “landfall” site. 
And, as in a hurricane, making sense of the 
combinations of birds detected in many areas 
was not straightforward. 

The lowest minimum pressure in this Su- 
per Storm (Figures 6, 7) was measured at 953 
mb, comparable to a Category 3 hurricane 
and the lowest on record for an extra-tropical 
cyclone over land in the United States, even 
edging out the famous Great Ohio Blizzard of 
1978 (958 mb). The Storm’s many effects are 
too numerous to recount here, but highlights 
included a rare Chicago tornado, heavy snows 
in Minnesota and North Dakota, and what 
meteorologists call a “serial derecho,” a very 
strong straight-line windstorm stretching 
from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes, 
bringing tornados and extremely high winds 
across much of the eastern third of the conti- 
nent 26-27 October, with strong northwester- 
lies from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic coast 
on the weekend that followed. 

If Hurricane Earl was the “perfect storm” 
for Nova Scotia, as Maybank suggests, then 
the Super Storm was probably the “perfect 
weather pattern” for Cape May and the mid- 
Atlantic coast, as Freiday forecast. Please refer 
to the S.A. boxes in the Hudson-Delaware 
and Middle Atlantic reports for the big num- 
bers. What does a flight of 16,000 Hermit 
Thrushes look like? Or 18,500 Dark-eyed 
Juncos? Or 10,200 House Finches? Birders 
wrote that in some places even city streets 
were full of thrushes in the predawn hours. 
Although the estimates are rough — and in- 
deed most active local Cape May birders were 
tasked with guiding field trips and thus un- 
able to attempt “counts” over the whole of 
Cape Island or beyond — they give a sense that 
enormous numbers of many species were 
present. In contrast, to the south, on the Vir- 


ginia coast, only one birder reported on the 
flight, with 2500 kinglets and 70 Brown 
Creepers at Chincoteague National Wildlife 
Refuge both record-high totals for the state, 
among a great diversity of sparrows there as 
well. From southeastern New York to south- 
eastern Virginia, the diversity and numbers of 
sparrows were clearly elevated, but no place 
had the many tens of thousands of sparrows 
and Hermit Thrushes that dropped at Cape 
May after the Super Storm passed. 

So why is this of interest to us? Don’t cer- 
tain Atlantic coast sites with favorable geogra- 
phy routinely capture the lion’s share of 
migrating passerines in late October, with 
many mega-flights of various species recorded 


in decades past? Certainly so. But our topic, 
“bedfellows,” means that we will look not just 
at the most numerous species (the Hermit 
Thrushes of the Super Storm being equivalent 
to the Laughing Gulls of Earl) but also at the 
least numerous. In looking over the records 
from the window 24-31 October, we find 
some genuinely rare birds east or northeast of 
typical range: a Hensiow’s Sparrow at Cape 
May (Figure 8), single Common Ground- 
Doves at Cape May and on Long Island (Fig- 
ures 9, 10), a Lewis’s Woodpecker in upstate 
New York (Figure 11), Bronzed Cowbird and 
Gray Kingbird in Maine, plus lesser luminar- 
ies such as Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at 
Martha’s Vineyard and Ash-throated Flycatch- 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


21 



THE CHANGING SEASONS: BEDFELLOWS 



Figyre 1 0. This cooperative Common Ground-Dove present at Captree State Park, f^ew York from 31 October through 21 {here 14) Mo- 
vember 2010 represented the first documented state record. Like the ground-dove found two days earlier at Cape May, New Jersey, 
this bird may have been a reverse migrant entrained by a strong storm system that crossed the continent in the last week of Octo- 
ber— but two earlier records from the western Great Lakes suggest that their dispersal was underway before the end of October. 
Photograph by Rick Wiltraut. 



Figure 1 1 . At the home of Fred Jordan in Livonia, New York, this Lewis's Wood- 
pecker appeared 30 October 2010 and spent the entire winter (here 7 Decem- 
ber). The fall of 201 0 saw a moderate irruption of this species out of core range, 
as far north as British Columbia and east to Iowa, in addition to New York. 
Photograph by Edward J. Norman. 

ers at Cape May and in Jackson County, Mis- 
sissippi. (We should not mention Maine’s ex- 
cessively grand fortune in hosting a 
Yellow-billed Loon during the same week, but 
there it is.) 


But before we turn to these out- 
liers, what about those predic- 
tions — for cranes and Franklin’s 
Gulls and Cave Swallows? All of 
these came to pass. Franklin’s Gulls 
turned up like clockwork on 27 
October, during southwesterlies 
ahead of the front’s passage: two 
singles on Long Island, one at 
Sandy Point State Park in Mary- 
land, 42 (!) at West Point Dam, 
Georgia and 10 not far away at Tid- 
well Park, Georgia, and a stagger- 
ing 8370 at Lake Sam Rayburn in 
Angelina County, Texas. (Had the 
27th been a weekend day, perhaps 
even more would have been 
found.) A few significant ground- 
ings of shorebirds were also 
recorded on this date, such as 58 
Long-billed Dowitchers in Bartow 
County, Georgia. 

Sandhill Cranes likewise made 
news on 27 October. According to 
Ken Blankenship, a “whopping 
4103” passed over Berrien County, 
Georgia that day a very high count, 
and six turned up in Oktibbeha 
County Mississippi, where rare. In 
Iowa, Walter Wehtje writes that 
“record-strong winds [ . . . ] may have been re- 
sponsible for the flight of 600 Sandhill Cranes 
27 October at Hitchcock Wildlife Manage- 
ment Area [...] and also pushed eight 
Whooping Cranes into Bates County, Mis- 


souri” the day before. Of the Whooping 
Cranes, he notes: “These birds were observed 
in flight struggling against the wind and later 
on the ground. Prior to this record, only five 
Whooping Cranes had been seen in Missouri 
since 1913.” Ross Silcock andjoe Grzybowski 
document large flocks of Sandhills passing 
through eastern Kansas (where not expected) 
26-29 October. 

And the Cave Swallows. First seen at Cape 
May, New Jersey 22 October, then near 
Rochester, New York and at the Cape Hen- 
lopen Hawkwatch, Delaware 23 October, 
then a single Coney Island, New York 24 Oc- 
tober — and then the list then explodes, and 
we need a table to summarize them (Table 2). 
But wait! The storm was still well to the west 
on 22-23 October. Why are Cave Swallows 
starting to appear then? Looking at the 
weather maps, the answer is simple: there 
was a high-pressure area moving off the East 
Coast and a low-pressure area coming off the 
plains, so there were brisk southwesterlies 
blowing from the Gulf of Mexico toward the 
Great Lakes/Northeast then. Granted, the 
swallows’ numbers on these first few days are 
tiny compared to the flood of Cave Swal- 
lows — over a thousand — that would turn up 
in the next seven days across a huge area 
spanning Minnesota to Maine, Ohio to ’Vir- 
ginia. As predictable as this pipeline pattern 
may now be, the corridor in which most 
birds are found is fairly well defined: some ar- 
eas receive hundreds (Ontario has now re- 
tired the species from its Review List), but 
others, such as Minnesota and Wisconsin, 
have very few reports, mostly of singles, pre- 
sumably because they lie west of the corridor 
that Cave Swallows travel between breeding 
areas and the eastern Great Lakes and the 
Northeast. (If storm winds in such events 
were southerly rather than southwesterly, 
surely the western Great Lakes would have 
many more records of Cave Swallow.) 

So if we see a pattern of reverse movement 
in a small proportion of the Cave Swallows in 
the few days leading up to the Super Storm, 
do we see a similar early movement among 
those more vaunted, singular rarities that we 
might associate with the Storm at the end of 
October? Yes. A Lewis’s Woodpecker passed 
the hawkwatch at Hitchcock Wildlife Man- 
agement Area, Iowa 10 October; single Com- 
mon Ground-Doves were in Minnesota’s 
Hennepin County 18-20 October and in 
Michigan’s Whitefish Point 20-23 October 
(and another one 30 October and later at 
Tawas Point State Park!), plus one well out of 
range in Nacogdoches County, easternmost 
Texas 24 October; and a Gray Kingbird was 


22 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


THE CHANGING SEASONS; BEDFELLOWS 



Figure 12. A species accidental in eastern Montana, this Anna's Hummingbird was in Fort Peck 11-21 (here 17) October 2010. 
Photograph by Chuck Carlson. 



Figure 14. Two Anna's Hummingbirds turned up together in 
early October 2010 at Grand Marais, Alger County, Michigan — a 
first record of the species for the state. The adult male got the 
most attention from photographers and remained until 1 1 No- 
vember (here 28 October). Photograph by Darlene Friedman. 



Figure 13. This stunning male Anna's Hummingbird spent about three months in au- 
tumn 2010 at Val-d'Espoir near the tip of the Gaspe Peninsula (here 19 November); Figure 15. This female Anna's Hummingbird, the first of its species recorded in Ontario, visited a feeder in Cottam, 

there is just one other record of the species for Quebec. Photograph by Albini Couture. Essex County 30 October 201 0. Photograph by Paul Pratt. 



discovered in Savannah, New York 23 Octo- 
ber. Other records of errant flycatchers (Scis- 
sor-tailed Flycatcher, Ash-throated 
Flycatcher) also pepper the reports during 
and after the storm, but these “staples” of fall 
appeared throughout the second half of the 
season in many places. So we can hardly say 
that the Super Storm was some sort of special 


freight train for these much-attended va- 
grants. Virtually all of these species seem to 
have been on the move farther to the west be- 
fore the heavy winds kicked up, and they are 
rare enough in the Midwest (third or fourth 
records in most places) that the mid-Atlantic 
records are probably not unrelated coinci- 
dences. Indeed, it is possible, if not likely, 


that some of the birds seen on the coast were 
individuals already detected farther to the 
west (certainly. Cave Swallows in past 
episodes have seemed to move from the 
Great Lakes to the Atlantic coast over a pe- 
riod of days). Whether the ground-doves in 
New York and New Jersey were coming from 
the Gulf coastal states or from Michigan and 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


23 





THE CHANGING SEASONS; BEDFELLOWS 


Table 2. Reports of extralitnitel Cave Swallows in North America 

22 October-2 November 2010. Another large flight of the species 
occurred in the last week of November and into early December 201 0. 

Date(s) 

No. 

Location 

22 October 

4 

Cape May area, NJ 

23 October 

1 

Hamlin Beach, Monroe, NY 

23 October 

9 

Cape Henlopen, DE 

24 October 

1 

Coney L, NY 

25 October 

35 

Van Wagners Beach, ON 

25 October 

75 

Fifty Point C.A., ON 

25 October 

1 

Cape Henlopen, DE 

26 October 

21 

Derby Hill, near Mexico, NY 

26 October 

1 

Cape May area, NJ 

26 October 

2 

Cape Henlopen, DE 

27 October 

1 

Berrien, Ml 

27 October 

1 

IMoyne, NY 

27 October 

1 

Batavia W.T.P., Genesee, NY 

27 October 

3 

Lakeshore Park, take, OH 

27 October 

1 

Whitefish Pt., Ml 

27 October+ 

88 

Point Pelee area, ON 

27 October-!- 

500-!- 

Long Point area, ON 

28 October 

1 

Saint-Vallier, QU 

29 October 

1 

Pte. Mouillee, Ml 

29 October 

1 

Casco Bay, off Cumberland, ME 

29 October 

2 

Summitville, Sullivan, NY 

29 October 

2 

South Point, Worcester, MD 

29 October 

2 

Ville-Marie,QU 

29 October 

1 

Milwaukee, Wl 

29 October 

4 

Cape Henlopen, DE 

29 October 

1 

Madison, CT 

29 October 

1 

Cape May area, NJ 

29 October 

2 

ChincoteagueN.W.R.,VA 

30 October 

3 

Salisbury Beach, fssex, MA 

30 October 

5 

Cape May area, Ni 

30 October 

1 

Saint-Vallier, QU 

30 October 

6 

Meigs Pi, New Haven, CT 

30 October 

1 

Stamford, CT 

30 October 

4 

Robert Moses S.P., Suffolk, NY 

30 October 

4 

FortTilden, Queens, NY 

30 October 

4 

Geneva S.P.,4s/)fabu/fl, OH 

30 October 

1 

Cook, MN (p.a., first state record) 

30 October 

2 

Lakeshore Park, Lake, OH 

30 October-!- 

3 

Lorain, Lorain, OH 

30/31 October 

77 

Rondeau area, ON 

30/31 October 

50 

Greater Toronto Area, ON 

30/31 October 

4 

Comeiul Ashtabula, Oti 

31 October 

2 

Huntington Res., Cuyahoga, OH 

31 October 

1 

Philadelphia, PA 

31 October 

2 

Cape May area, NJ 

31 October 

16 

Lighthouse Pt., CT 

31 October 

1 

New Bedford, Coschocton, OH 

1 November 

1 

Tadoussac, QU 

1 November 

r 

Saginaw, Ml 

1 November 

9 

Cape May area, NJ 

2 November 

1 

Bond Head, Durham, ON 

2 November 

2 

Cape May area, NJ 

-!-. -'svvallows reported in.the area through 1/2 November , ■ 

* F specimen preserved ' . ' .'.Q : 


Minnesota we cannot know, but one may sus- 
pect that tLie Super Storm birds in the mid- 
Atlantic were part of a wider pattern of 
dispersal inaugurated and abetted by the 
weak low-pressure event in the days before 
the Super Storm. The superior strength of the 
Storm means that the eastward shift for such 
birds was surely greater. So whether a species 
is a “normal” southbound migrant attempt- 
ing to use northerly winds in autumn (Sand- 
hill Crane, Franklin’s Gull) or a reverse 
migrant dispersing northward on southerly 
winds (Common Ground-Dove, Cave Swal- 
low), the strength and speed of a storm ap- 
pears to have some effect on the extent of 
longitudinal displacement. 

Cave Swallows and Gray Kingbirds do not 
nest in the Midwest, and so we have some 
idea of what their vagrancy vectors might be 
when they appear well out of range. But what 
of the simply uncommon species seen in big 
numbers after the Super Storm (Vesper Spar- 
rows, for instance), birds with broad breeding 
ranges whose pathways to the coast are less 
apparent? Were these birds mixed in with 
massive numbers of “normal” migrants? Or 
had they been riders on the southwesterlies 
prior to moving coastward on the northwest- 
erlies? In other words, does reverse migration 
explain at least part of their appearance? 

When trying to distinguish a migrant that 
is reversed from a “normal” migrant, it may 
be helpful to look at patterns from more geo- 
graphically extreme locations than Cape May 
or Long Island. Take, for instance. Nova Sco- 
tia and Prince Edward Island. In both places, 
normal October migrants such as Song Spar- 
rows, White-throated Sparrows, and Dark- 
eyed Junco appear in numbers during and 
after frontal passage with northerly and 
northwesterly winds — that is, winds blowing 
from the direction of areas where these birds 
nest. Birders there find the rarer sparrows — 
such as Clay-colored, Vesper, Grasshopper — 
and Dickcissels after westerly or 
southwesterly winds. (Insert the usual caveats 
here about dates of detection versus actual ar- 
rival.) These granivores may eventually mix 
with commoner sparrows where they concen- 
trate in coastal areas, certainly, but they do 
not seem to arrive together, en masse. So per- 
haps for the sparrow bonanza at Cape May 
and in adjacent states, some of the rarer 
species were in fact moving first on south- 
westerly and westerly winds, ahead of the 
passage of the cold front, rather than coming 
directly from areas north of Cape May’s lati- 
tude. In fact, it is very possible in such cases 
that both “normal” migrants and reverse mi- 
grants of the same species could appear follow- 


ing a strong storm system. With our example 
of Vesper Sparrow, it is interesting that Cape 
May had just two Vespers on 29 October but 
a near-record 45 the next day. Winds on Sat- 
urday night were north-northwesterly, which 
suggests that at minimum these birds had un- 
dergone a longitudinal shift before hitting 
Cape May. Now that the islands called Haida 
Gwaii (formerly Queen Charlotte Islands) off 
the British Columbia coast are getting more 
late-autumn attention from birders, a com- 
parison of reverse migrant patterns there with 
patterns from Atlantic Canada would be most 
interesting. This past fall, the hrst Grasshop- 
per Sparrow for Haida Gwaii was nicely pho- 
tographed, among many other interesting 
discoveries. 

And as for the Super Storm’s effects as it 
came ashore in the Pacific Northwest, where 
it was the strongest cyclone of the season? Ac- 
cording to Dave Irons, Doug Schonewald, 
Brad Waggoner, and Bill Tweit, the storm “re- 
sulted in only modest displacement of birds 
and no epic fallouts.” How remarkable! 

It's Anna's Turn 

In the American East over the past three 
decades, western hummingbird species have 
appeared in waves, with each newcomer 
greeted by birders as an innkeeper along the 
Silk Route might have welcomed a new spice 
merchant laden with rare cargo. (Our hospi- 
tality toward these wanderers deserves a 
novel or a social study of its own.) Through 
the 1980s, Rufous Hummingbird quickly es- 
tablished its position as the East’s “second” 
hummer, with records proliferating so rap- 
idly in some areas that committees had diffi- 
culty keeping up with the documentation 
(not to mention, the difficulty in ruling out 
Allen’s Hummingbird in each report). At the 
same time, with less fanfare, Ruby-throated 
Hummingbirds began attempting to winter 
in many of the same areas. By the 1990s, the 
march of these minions was progressing 
more rapidly, with Black-chinned, Allen’s, 
and Calliope leading the way, followed by 
spottier appearances of Broad-tailed, Broad- 
billed, and Buff-bellied (Green Violetear, it 
should be noted, does not conform the sea- 
sonal pattern of the others, with most found 
before autumn). To date, only a few of the 
southwestern specialties — Blue-throated, 
Magnihcent, Costa’s, White-eared, Violet- 
crowned — have crossed the Mississippi, and 
Green-breasted Mango has been another 
wild card species detected only a few times 
away from Texas. But when autumn rolls 
around, few fail to keep an eye on the hum- 
mingbird feeder. Like the lottery, you have to 


24 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



THE CHANGING SEASONS: BEDFELLOWS 


play to win: and witli vagrant humming- 
birds, you have about the same chances 
everyone else does. 

Until relatively recently, Anna’s Humming- 
bird had held back, though there have been 
scattered records from New York, Florida, 
North Carolina, Ohio, Alabama, Georgia, and 
Wisconsin, plus a goodly number from 
Louisiana, the Winter Hummingbird Capital. 
But in fall and early winter 2010, Newfound- 
land, Ontario, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Iowa, 
Michigan (2 birds), and South Carolina got 
their first records of the species, Quebec and 
Maryland had seconds, and Arkansas a sev- 
enth — a far more temporally concentrated set 
of records than the eastern third of the conti- 
nent has ever seen (Figures 12-15). 

In 2011, we are in a very different birding 
world than we were in 1980. Back a genera- 
tion ago, we had no ability to communicate 
large amounts of birding information in rapid 
fashion. Now, almost effortlessly, we can get 
on the computer and see not just individual 
records but incipient patterns in these 
records, whether of whistling-ducks or hum- 
mingbirds or winter finches. To be sure, we 
are just at the beginning of realizing the re- 
wards of Internet sharing of bird records, but 
even the past five years have seen a revolution 
in the availability of birding data. Project 
eBird has been the most successful of several 
projects that offer geo-referenced bird data, 
and many records that might otherwise have 
fallen between the cracks of the North Ameri- 
can Birds regional reporting networks have 
come to light because of eBird. In composing 
thoughts on the fall movement of Anna’s 
Hummingbird, I found eBird very useful for 
visualizing what might have happened with 
this species. 

Of course, the story began out West, where 
Anna’s Hummingbirds are supposed to be. 
Alarm bells rang about moving Anna’s in 
many western states, beginning in Alaska, 
where about 22 (an unprecedented number) 
were detected from 8 August through the end 
of November. Most of the birds observed there 
appeared to arrive in September or October, as 
is typical of Alaska’s 15+ previous records, but 
there was an exception. Thede Tobish writes: 
“a subadult male and a female Anna’s were dis- 
covered in a clearcut area above Ketchikan 8- 
22 August by Steve Heinl, in an area 
dominated by Vaccinium understory, typical 
breeding habitat. The male was seen perform- 
ing flight displays and chased the female. The 
species is essentially unknown in the state 
away from feeders.” “Post-breeding dispersal” 
is sometimes invoked as an explanation of au- 
tumn wandering in hummingbirds and other 


species, but this record of a displaying 
subaduit male (too late for a breeding attempt, 
surely) suggests that at least some extralimital 
Anna’s in the early fall season have been pio- 
neers of new breeding areas. 

Other north/western records deemed wor- 
thy of mention this season were singles ap- 
pearing in Spokane County, Washington 11 
September, at Kalispell, Montana 26 Septem- 
ber, at the Grand Canyon, 8-9 October, at 
Fort Peck, Montana 11 October (Figure 12), 
at Calgary, Alberta 22 October, at Boise, Idaho 
1 November, and at Marsing, Idaho 15 No- 
vember. To the south, up to ten Anna’s visited 
Carson County and Washoe County, Nevada 
3 October and later, described by Rick Fridell 
as continuing their “northward push” in the 
Great Basin. In the Great Plains, Kansas had 
an Anna’s in Finney County 3-25 September, 
and Oklahoma followed with one in Co- 
manche County 22-25 October. In Texas, Eric 
Carpenter, Mark Lockwood, and Willie 
Sekula describe a “banner season” for ex- 
tralimital Anna’s, with six reported in central 


Texas beginning 25 October, plus two singles 
in late November in Smith County and Brazo- 
ria County. 

Clearly, it was an active season for Anna’s 
out of range west of the Mississippi River as 
well as east. The timing of these northern/ 
western extralimital records averages well 
earlier than the southern/eastern, which is 
not unexpected, but the easternmost records 
span almost three months. The dates of de- 
tection for the first state or provincial records 
in 2010 were: Quebec, late September (first 
identified 7 November; Figure 13); New- 
foundland, late September (first identified 20 
January 2011); Michigan, early October (Fig- 
ure 14); Ontario, 25 October (Figure 15); 
Iowa, 31 October; Pennsylvania, late Octo- 
ber; Maryland, 5 November; Arkansas, 8 No- 
vember; Illinois, 21 November; South Caro- 
lina, 20 December. In the fall records, there is 
a tendency for the most northerly records to 
be earlier, the most southerly to be later, but 
the pattern is not neat. (Of course, birds may 
be present much earlier than they are detect- 


Table 3. Number of records of Anna's Hummingbird by selected state and province, both in total and by season 
(August-November, December-February, March-May, June-July), through March 2011. 


State or province 

Total 

Fail 

Winter 

Spring 

Summer 

Alberta 

10 

10 

0 

0 

0 

Ontario 

1 

1 

0 

0 

0 

Quebec 

2 

2 

0 

0 

0 

Newfoundland 

1 

1 

0 

0 

0 

Saskatchewan 

2 

0 

0 

0 

2 

Alabama 

5 

2 

3 

0 

0 

Arkansas 

7 

6 

1 

0 

0 

Colorado 

9 

5 

1 

1 

2 

Florida 

1 

1 

0 

0 

0 

Georgia 

2 

1 

1 

0 

0 

Illinois 

1 

1 

0 

0 

0 

Iowa 

1 

1 

0 

0 

0 

Kansas 

17 

13 

4 

0 

0 

Louisiana 

30 

8 

21 

1 

0 

Maryland 

2 

2 

0 

0 

0 

Michigan 

2 

2 

0 

0 

0 

Minnesota 

4 

3 

1 

0 

0 

Mississippi 

9 

3 

6 

0 

0 

Missouri 

5 

4 

1 

0 

0 

New York 

1 

1 

0 

0 

0 

North Carolina 

1 

1 

0 

0 

0 

Ohio 

1 

0 

1 

0 

0 

Oklahoma 

4 

1 

3 

0 

0 

Pennsylvania 

1 

1 

0 

0 

0 

South Carolina 

1 

0 

1 

0 

0 

Wisconsin 

4 

3 

1 

0 

0 

Totals 

124 

73 

45 

2 

4 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


25 



THE CHANGING SEASONS: BEDFELLOWS 


ed at feeders, especially during milder sea- 
sons and in the more southerly areas.) Still, 
of all the Table 3 vagrant records, 58% are 
from August through November, and if one 
excludes the Louisiana and Mississippi 
records, the hgure is 67%. 

In Birds of Louisiana (Remsen, Cardiff, 
Dittmann, and Dickson; in preparation), the 
authors note: “In contrast to other winter- 
season hummingbirds in Louisiana, Annas 
Hummingbird has not shown a historical in- 
crease since the hrst records, despite greatly 
intensihed coverage of wintering humming- 
birds (and also despite a well-documented 
range expansion in the western United 
States). After the first three records, all in 
1979, none was recorded until 1987. Records 
tend to come in bursts, such as winter 1987- 
88 and 1995-96, and there may be no records 
for several years in a row.” After this latest 
burst, in 2010, it will be interesting to see 
whether the slow trend of increasing records 
in the Pacihc Northwest (including Alaska’s 
Southeast) strengthens — and whether that 
pattern might be matched by more records in 
the Midwest and East. What is, after all, the 
carrying capacity of the Southeast for winter- 
ing hummingbirds, when more and more 
people keep feeders out year-round in the 
Gulf coastal states? In the future, we will be 
able to model records of novel dispersal (“va- 
grancy”) more clearly and meaningfully, as 
eBird has begun to do with fifty of the most 
abundant species already (see: <http://ebird. 
org/content/ebird/news/ebird-animated-oc- 
currence-maps>), especially if the database 
contains a strong majority of the confirmed 


records. Though Anna’s does not currently 
seem to be on pace to become the next Ru- 
fous Hummingbird, it bears careful watching, 
and our best means for sharing information 
with each other and with researchers is 
through eBird. 

In 1998, we suspected that the “Great 
Storm” had transported an Anna’s Humming- 
bird to Muskego, Wisconsin, as the bird first 
appeared 10 November, during the period of 
high winds (Tessen 1999). And so it may have 
been. Our perspective in more recent times is 
focused less on singular weather events than 
on general trends. Though a big storm may 
help a single bird, or many birds, move a long 
distance, there is normally a broader context 
than just a single bird in a single storm: birds 
of the same species are usually on the move 
before and after the storm, for causes that are 
probably not directly related to weather. 
Would that Lewis’s Woodpecker in New York 
have begun its journey from the West without 
the failure of some acorn crops (described in 
the Oregon & Washington report)? 

Or take the little Ruby-throated Humming- 
bird harassing the frigatebird in our opening 
line: was it a local? Or, like hummingbirds 
seen zipping along within Bertha in 1996, 
might it have been displaced by Earl from ar- 
eas south of Nova Scotia? And was the object 
of its ire, the frigatebird, one that was already 
wandering in the area (there had been several 
around in summer), or was it a tempest-borne 
bird from farther south? Would the Cave 
Swallows reported in Nova Scotia in early Sep- 
tember have made such an early appearance 
there without a hurricane? Or did they origi- 


nate in the Caribbean, where Caves Swallows 
have not shown the propensity for northeast- 
ward dispersal in autumn that southwestern 
Caves have? Some of these questions may be 
answerable, under ideal conditions. Others are 
still wonderfully unanswerable. 

Acknowledgments 

For their thoughtful replies to my many 
queries on sparrows, hummingbirds, swal- 
lows, and seabirds during the preparation of 
this essay, I thank Ian McLaren, Steve Cardiff, 
Jocelyn Hudon, Doug Faulkner, Peter Taylor, 
Blake Maybank, Bob Fogg, Greg Jackson, Ted 
Floyd, Bruce Mactavish, Mike Mulligan, Josh 
Uffman, Ross Silcock, Peder Svingen, Tony 
Leukering, Michael O’Brien, Joe Grzybowski, 
Max Thompson, Paul Lehman, Tom Johnson, 
Gene Knight, Ryan Brady, Phil Cram, Nancy 
Martin, and Walter Ellison. 

Literature cited 

Adams, M. A., and M. Hafner 2009. The fall 
migration: Middle Atlantic region. North 
American Birds 63: 54-60. 

Brinkley, E. S. 1999. The Changing Seasons: 
Low Pressure. North American Birds 53: 12- 
19. 

Finch, D. W. 1969. The fall migration August 
16, 1968-November 30, 1968: Northeast- 
ern Maritime region. Audubon Field Notes 
23: 13-22. 

Tessen, D. 1999. The fall migration: Western 
Great Lakes region. North American Birds 
53: 53-57. 

Tufts, R. W. 1986. Birds of Nova Scotia. Nim- 
bus, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Cr 


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26 


NORTH-AMERICAN BIRDS 





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This leucistic Black-and-white Warbler was discovered at Manatee Springs State Park, Levy County, Florida 26 August 2010; it 
showed faint buffy stripes on the sides of the breast and dark irides. Birds such as this one remind us to look at each bird 
carefully — and keep the camera handy. Photographs by John Hintermister. 


Migrations 

We have had the luxury of Bruce Mactavish’s 
brilliant contributions to this journal since 
1972 — fantastic bird records, photographs, and 
especially his top-notch regional editing since 
1988. Bruce’s work in recent years has involved 
ship-based studies, from northern Greenland 
to northern South America, and we have mar- 
veled at his recent discoveries, always well doc- 
umented, with awe and a touch of envy. After 
four decades of involvement and almost a quar- 
ter-century in the regional editor’s chair, Bruce 
will remain the subregional compiler for New- 
foundland and Labrador but has decided to put 
down the regional editor’s reigns for the fall At- 
lantic Provinces report. We will announce the 
new regional editor for that season soon. 

In the Eastern Highlands and Upper Ohio 
River Valley region (Ohio, Pennsylvania, and 
West Virginia), Victor Fazio has turned over 
responsibility for the winter report to Ron 
Canterbury (ron.canterbury@uc.edu) and for 
spring to Gabe Leidy (nparula@yahoo.com). 
Vic has stayed on top of Ohio records for this 
report since 2004, and we will miss his edit- 
ing a great deal — but also look forward to 
reading about his bird records from the Mid- 
west and Great Plains, where he has studied 
Black-capped Vireos since 1989. Thanks, 
Bruce and Vic, for the fine work! 

jMuchissimas gracias! 

Once again, we celebrate and recognize the 
folks who bring all of us the expanded arti- 


cles and Pictorial Highlights sections, the 
Photo Essays and Photo Salons, and the new 
occasional “Birding Journal” features that en- 
rich North American Birds and give us that 
much-needed eye-candy as soon as we open 
the journal. Every contribution gives us that 
extra edge we need to stay in the black ink, a 
fiscal art form in which we have excelled ever 
since the “Friends of North American Birds" 
Fund was established in 2006. Thank you, 
dear Friends, from all of us behind the scenes 
and from the subscribers and readers. 

Searchable J\/orth 
American Birds reports 

Oregon Field Ornithologists has made won- 
derful progress in converting this journal’s re- 
gional reports from the western states and 
provinces into Microsoft Word documents 
that can be downloaded and searched 
(<http://www.oregonbirds.org/ofo28.html>). 
As of spring 2011, reports from 1961-1990 
are available, with 1948-1960 to be mounted 
later in the year. Phil Hicks, Nancy Hertzel, 
and Alan Contreras have been hard at work 
on different aspects of this effort, which 
makes it possible to search rapidly for key- 
words, more rapidly than with the PDF ver- 
sions of these reports available on the SORA 
website (<http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/ 
NAB>). Also, it’s easy to merge these Word 
documents, so that searches can be made 
through multiple reports, rather than just 
one at a time. Bravo, OFO!! O 


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NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



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STANDARD 
ABBREVIATIONS AND 
SYMBOLS USED IN THE 
REGIONAL REPORTS 


* 

specimen collected 

4- 

bird(s) seen through end of period 

t 

written details on file 

A.F.B. 

Air Force Base 

acc. 

accepted by records committee 

A.R.C. 

Avian Records Committee 

b. 

banded 

B.B.S. 

Breeding Bird Survey 

B.O. 

Bird Observatory 

B.R.C. 

Bird Records Committee 

C.A. 

Conservation Area 

C.B.C. 

Christmas Bird Count 

C.R 

County Park 

cm 

centimeterfs) 

Cr. 

Creek 

Ft. 

Fort 

G.C. 

Golf Course 

6.P. 

Game Preserve 

Hwy. 

Highway 

I.(ls.) 

!sland(s), Isle(s) 

imm. (imms.) 

immature(s) 

Jet. 

Junction 

juv. (juvs.) 

Juvenal [plumage]; juvenile(s) 

km 

kilometer(s) 

L. 

Lake 

mm 

millimeter(s) 

m.ob. 

many (or multiple) observers 

Mt. (Mts.) 

Mount/Moontain (Mountains) 

N.A. 

Nature Area, Natural Area 

N.F. 

National Forest 

N.M. 

National Monument 

N.P. 

National Park 

N.S. 

National Seashore 

N.W.R. 

National Wildlife Refuge 

p.a. 

pending acceptance 

P.P. 

Provincial Park 

Pen. 

Peninsula 

ph. 

photographed (by + initials) 

Pt. 

Point (not Port) 

R. 

River 

R.A. 

Recreation(al) Area 

R.B.A. 

Rare Bird Alert 

R.P 

Regional Park 

R.S. 

Regional Shoreline 

Res. 

Reservoir 

Rte. 

Route 

S.B. 

State Beach 

S.F. 

State Forest 

S.G.A. 

State Game Area 

S.R 

State Park 

S.R.A. 

State Recreation Area 

S.R. 

State Reserve 

S.W.A. 

State Wildlife Area 

S.T.R 

Sewage Treatment Plant/Pond 

subad. (subads.) 

subadult(s) 

Twp. 

Township 

v.r. 

voice recording (by + initials) 

vt. 

videotape (by + initials) 

W.A. 

Wildlife Area 

W/.M.A. 

Wildlife Management Area 

W.T.P. 

(Waste)water Treatment Plant/Pond 


Italics indicate name of county, parish, or municipality. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


29 





A remarkable discovery in the wake of Hurricane Earl ms this Brown Pelican, present briefly 
(here 9 September 2010) along the Saltmarsh Trail across Cole Harbour, Halifax. The bird later 
turned up in Dartmouth, where it was taken into care and later repatriated to a pelican reha- 
bilitation facility in North Carolina. In the history of hurricane transportation of seabirds in 
the Northeast, there are very few records of extralimital pelicans clearly attributable to 
storms. Photograph by Mike King. 



A number of lucky observers got to see an adult male Magnificent Frigatebird brought by Hur- 
ricane Earl 6 September 2010 to the mouth of Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia. Photograph by 
Mike King. 



Many of the Laughing Gulls brought to Canada by Hurricane Earl congregated around fast-food 
restaurants, as seen here 11 September 2010 in Liverpool. Photograph by Stuart Tingley. 





Royal Terns, like this one photographed 7 September 2010 at Hirtles Beach near Lunenburg, 
were relatively common sights in Nova Scotia after the passage of Hurricane Earl. Photograph 
by Sandy McClearn. 



Certainly the rarest tern brought to Nova Scotia by Hurricane Ear! ms this Bridled Tern, 
photographed 4 September 2010 at Hartlen Point, Halifax. It was a first for Nova Scotia but 
unfortunately departed soon after being found, although it made a subsequent brief 
appearance two days later. Photograph by Karel Allard. 



Nova Scotia's first Snowy Plover was found by Kevin Lantz at Hirtle Beach, Lunenburg County 4 Most of many Black Skimmers brought to Nova Scotia by Hurricane Ear! were adults, but a 
September 2010, apparently a waif associated with Hurricane Earl. Photograph by Kevin Lantz. few, like this one 9 September 2010 near Halifax, were juveniles. Photograph by Mike King. 


30 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 




Atlantic Provinces & St. Pierre et Miquelon [] 



Edward S. Brinkley 

A most memorable summary of the sea- 
son’s weather came from Roger 
Etcheberry on St. Pierre: “Only August 
had acceptable weather.” For the rest of the au- 
tumn, especially in September and October, 
windy, wet weather was the rule, notably dur- 
ing the Nova Scotia landfall of Earl as a Cate- 
gory 1 hurricane 4 September (see Special At- 
tention box). According to Environment Cana- 
da, the Atlantic Provinces had temperatures 
about 1.1° C above average and precipitation 
well above average, particularly in Nova Scotia 
and New Brunswick. The fall season was fasci- 
nating from beginning to end, opening with a 
Mountain Bluebird in New Brunswick, fol- 
lowed by countless terns, shorebirds, and 
seabirds in September, rare tyrant flycatchers 
in mid-season, and closing with a volley of 
geese from Greenland/Iceland, among them at 
least two Pink-footed, a Barnacle, and a Gray- 
lag — a trio that drew hundreds of observers to 
the Region, from as far away as California. 

1 thank Blake Maybank, Bruce Mactavish, 
Eric L. Mills, Ulli Roger, Ken McKenna, Jared 
Clark, Ian McLaren, Jim Wilson, Roger 
Etcheberry, David Seeler, and dozens of others 
for helping in the preparation of this report. 

WATERFOWL THROUGH HERONS 

The bird of the season in the Atlantic Provinces 
in autumn 2010 was the imm. Graylag Goose 
found by Eric Mills along Shore Rd. in 
Masstown, NS 3 Nov; the bird remained in the 
area with Canada Geese (one of which wore a 
collar from Greenland) through 30 Nov and 
was seen by birders from across North Ameri- 
ca. The only accepted North American record 
of this species comes from a drilling rig far off 
Newfoundland in spring 2005. A Greater 
White-fronted Goose of the Greenland sub- 


species spent 10-29 Nov in the Onslow, Colch- 
ester area, just the 17th ever documented in 
Nova Scotia (EM, m.ob.); on 18 Nov, 2 Canada 
Geese in the same area wore neck-collars fitted 
in 2009 in Greenland. Prince Edward Island’s 
2nd Barnacle Goose appeared on the Hunter R. 
19 Nov (Greg Feetham et al). The rarity of the 
season in the French islands was their first 
Pink-footed Goose, an imm. shot by a hunter 
on Miquelon 13 Nov (fide RE). Another Pink- 
footed Goose visited the Northumberland 
Strait coast around Cormierville, Kent 30 
Oct-28 Nov (ST; m.ob.), a first for New 
Brunswick; it was visited by hundreds of bird- 
ers, along with the Graylag. This bird may be 
the same individual that was shot in cen. 
Queens, Prince Edward Island 2 Dec (fide David 
Seeler), the 5th for that province. From an esti- 
mated population of 10,000 pairs in Greenland 
and Iceland in 1989, Pink-footed Geese had in- 
creased to approximately 270,000 birds by 
2005 (Waterfowl Population Estimates, Wet- 
lands International). Observers should contin- 
ue to be on the lookout for this species as well 
as for Barnacle and Graylag Geese, whose pop- 
ulations are likewise stable or increasing. 

Grand Barachois, St. Pierre et Miquelon 
logged a record-high count of American Black 
Duck — 934 — in Nov (LJ). A Eurasian Teal 
was near the village of Miquelon 27 Oct (RE). 
In the East Chezzetcook, NS marsh, 120 Blue- 
winged Teal were counted in early Sep 
(DMC). A male Redhead was photographed 
at St. John’s, NF 23 Oct (Lisa de Leon); the 
species is rather rare here, but records have 
shown a slight increase recently. At Grand 
Barachois, 3 Redheads were found 5 Oct 
(RE), which built to 11 by 19 Oct (LJ); the 
last 2 were seen 24 Nov (LJ). Up to 16 fre- 
quented Bissett L., H.R.M., NS 23 Oct-13 
Nov, and a Canvasback was there 24 Oct 
(MIK). Three Tufted Ducks present in St. 
John’s, NF in early Sep (DB) had probably 
summered; the local flock peaked at 33 on 16 
Nov (BMt). Black Scoter is said to be “fairly 
rare these days” around St. Pierre et Miquelon 
(RE), where only two reports totaling 9 birds 
were received, 4-5 Oct. A male Barrow’s Gold- 
eneye visited St. Pierre 24 Nov (LJ). A 
“singing” pair of Red-throated Loons in flight 
near a usual nesting area on Miquelon 19 Aug 
(RE, DL) was rather late for this southern- 
most nesting outpost in North America. St. 
Pierre had 2 Pied-billed Grebes 31 Oct-6 Nov 
(JD, PHa, PB). Red-necked Grebes, which for- 
merly began to appear off St. Pierre et 
Miquelon in Sep, showed up 6 Nov (one bird) 
and 17 Nov (4 birds) this autumn; counts of 
the species have declined sharply there in re- 
cent years. 

Offshore, over 500 Northern Fulmars were 


off Canso, NS 29 Oct (TK), and Barden also 
noted “many” on the Scotian Shelf se. of Hal- 
ifax 9 Nov, where he documented very late 
Cory’s Shearwater 7 Nov. Ten Cory’s were 
seen from a cruise ship off Shelburne 9 Aug 
(David Czaplak), with singles off Halifax 27 
Aug (Lukas Musher) and Brier 1. 6 Sep (SP). 
The last Great Shearwater was sw. of St. 
Pierre 4 Nov QD). An unidentified albatross 
was seen at the Bay of Fundy entrance 8 Nov 
(John Tramonto). Beautifully photographed 
was Nova Scotia’s 2nd Brown Booby, an ad. 
that came aboard a whale research vessel at 
The Gully (44.8138° N, 58.909° W) on 1 
Aug (ph. Catalina Gomez). In Nova Scotia, 
possibly the same ad. female Magnificent 
Frigatebird seen 17 Jul off Carrs Brook, Shel- 
burne (fide FLS; not identified to species with 
certainty), 21 Jul at Shag Harbour (fide JCz), 
and 24 Jul off Brier I. QS, Jamie Swift) was 
photographed off Seal I. 4 Aug (fide PRG). 
Etcheberry notes that he received few re- 
ports of Great Cormorant this season, al- 
though 60 (mostly juvs.) were seen near 
nesting areas around Colombier 1. 5 Aug 
(JD). An American White Pelican arrived 3 
Aug at Miscou I., NB (Steve Miousse) and 
stayed for three weeks. 

Newfoundland recorded 3 Great Egrets 4- 
18 Oct, and at least 9 were in Nova Scotia 5 
Sep-16 Nov (fide UH). Nova Scotia had a 
strong flight of Cattle Egrets, with about 26 
recorded from 13 locations 16 Oct-19 Nov; 
in Newfoundland, singles were at Bay Bulls 
23-31 Oct (Geoff O’Driscoll), Point May 28 
Oct (fide Jared Clarke), and Blaketown 28-30 
Oct (Kay LeMessurier). Cattle Egrets also 
turned up on Miquelon 19 (LJ) & 30 Oct 
(ph. PB) and on the e. end of Prince Edward 
Island 16 Nov-k (Mike Mullally, m.ob.). 
Night-herons are relatively rare in St. Pierre 
et Miquelon. An ad. Black-crowned was in St. 
Pierre 4-13 Aug (PB, LJ, PHa), 2 Yellow- 
crowneds were there Aug-Sep (PHa), with a 
juv. also noted 5 Aug-14 Sep (PB), and an- 
other Yellow-crowned was at Miquelon’s har- 
bor 7-19 Aug (fide RE). An imm. Yellow- 
crowned was seen at Middle Cove, NF 7-8 
Sep (KK), and Nova Scotia recorded 6 most- 
ly singles 2 Aug-9 Oct. With only 15 prior 
Nova Scotia records, a Clapper Rail found in 
a Canso garage 20 Sep (TOC) made a sur- 
prising discovery; it was caught and later re- 
leased unharmed. Another was seen at 
Castalia Marsh, NB 9 Oct (Louis Messely, 
Julie Goulet, Anne Gagnon), providing a 3rd 
record for this site. Notable reports of Sand- 
hill Cranes included a juv. at Bellisle Marsh, 
Annapolis, NS (SP), an ad. in the Goulds/Kil- 
bride area, NF 23 Sep-14 Oct (m.ob.), and 2 
late at Grand Pre, Kings, NS 6 Nov (GFo). 


VOLUME 65 (2011) » NUMBER 1 


31 


ATLANTIC PROVINCES & ST. PIERRE ET MIQUELON 


SHOREBIRDS THROUGH TERNS 

Near the Gully of Grand Barachois, St. Pierre 
et Miquelon, 3 Piping Plovers were with 
Semipalmated Plovers 9 Aug (RE). One hun- 
dred American Golden-Plovers at Sydney air- 
port 11 Sep (N.S.B.S., SEM) was the only no- 
table concentration in Nova Scotia. Nicely 
photographed was a Bar-tailed Godwit of the 
nominate subspecies near Grand Barachois 21 
Oct (LJ), the 2nd record of the species for the 
French islands; see the S.A. box for details of 
a baueri Bar-tailed in Nova Scotia. Hudsonian 
Godwit numbers of note included 16 at Cape 
Freels, NF 5 Sep (fide Jared Clarke) and 18 at 
Eddies Cove East 10 Oct Qohn & Ivy Gib- 
bons). Record late by nearly four weeks was a 
Lesser Yellowlegs at St. Pierre seen through 8 
Nov (LJ). A Spotted Sandpiper lingered late 
on Cape Sable 1., Shelburne, NS 14 Nov 
QON). Red Knots first appeared 31 Jul on St. 
Pierre, followed by a few more 19 Aug and 3 
Sep (RE, DL), then built to 150 by 14 Sep 
(RE), with 137 still there 21 Oct (LJ) and 100 
there 27 Oct (RE), the last report. Sixty at St. 
Pauls Inlet, NF in Sep (Darroch Whittaker) 
made a good local count. Red Knots were re- 
ported from 18 sites in Nova Scotia (versus a 
recent average of 1 1), but the total of 216 was 
average. Record late for St. Pierre were 2 Least 
Sandpipers seen 27 Oct QD). Thirty-five 
Bairds Sandpipers in Nova Scotia this season, 
mostly along the Atlantic coast, was well 
above the ten-year average of 22. At Cherry 
Hill Beach, NS, 6 Purple Sandpipers that ar- 
rived 26 Sep were unusually early (SJF). Nova 
Scotia’s total of about 62 Buff-breasted Sand- 
pipers was 70% above the five-year average. 
As in autumn 2009, Buff-breasteds again ap- 
peared in high numbers in Newfoundland, 
with 39 tallied between five sites 2-22 Sep and 
a single late at Cape Race 15-19 Oct (m.ob.). 
Ruffs in Nova Scotia were reported at Hartlen 
Pt., H.R.M. 7 Oct (MIK) and the Sydney air- 
port 27 & 29 Oct (ALM, CAM; DBM). Two 
Long-billed Dowitchers at Daniels Head, 
C.S.l. 31 Oct QON, SN) were at a favored lo- 
cation. Dozens of Red Phalaropes in migra- 
tion were seen 3 Sep se. of St. Pierre QD) and 
e. of the Isthmus (LJ), a 12-km bar that unites 
Miquelon and Langlade. 

Well before Hurricane Earl's passage, first- 
cycle Laughing Gulls were widespread in Aug 
and early Sep in the s. part of the Region. The 
first Black-headed Gull at St. Pierre appeared 
in the harbor 26 Oct (PB), with 2 there 27 Oct 
QD) and 3 by 26 Nov (PB); an ad. was near 
the village of Miquelon 9 Nov (RE, DL). A 
Mew Gull was noted in Halifax harbour, NS 7 
Nov (OB), and at St. John’s, NF, a second-cy- 
cle bird present Sep+ was joined by a first-cy- 
cle 27 Nov+ (BMt et al.). Two ad. Yellow- 



This beautifully photographed Ash-throated Flycatcher, only 
the second to be confirmed in Nova Scotia, appeared 13 No- 
vember 2010 at Canso. Photograph by Tom Kavanaugh. 


legged Gulls were in St. John’s as 21 Sep-r, 
though only one was observed for most of the 
fall; both were observed 14 Oct but then not 
again until 26 Dec (DB et al). The 2nd record 
of Forster’s Tern for the French islands was 
near Langlade 24 Oct (LJ); the other record 
followed Hurricane Wilma 27 Oct 2005 (and 
later). It is plausible that this year’s record in 
late Oct was connected to the passage of Earl 



This Bar-tailed Godwit of the nominate subspecies was near 
Grand Barachois, St. Pierre et Miquelon 21 October 2010, 
furnishing a second record of this species for the French is- 
lands. Photograph by Laurent Jackman. 

(see S.A. feature). Four offshore reports of 
Great Skua in Nova Scotia (7 birds in total) 
spanned 22 Aug-8 Nov. Several hundred 
Dovekies were seen off Canso 29 Oct (TK), an 
indication of the large winter flight and 
wrecks to come. 

DOVES THROUGH FLYCATCHERS 

A White-winged Dove in St. Pierre 1-6 Aug 
(ph. PHa) made a 5th record for the French 
islands, with other records coming in 1993, 


1996, 1999, and 2000. One discovered in 
Quidi Vidi village, NF 21 Nov (DB et al.) re- 
mained into mid-Dec there; this species is 
now an annual visitor to the island of New- 
foundland. Nova Scotia’s 3rd Eurasian Col- 
lared-Dove appeared at Canso 4-10 Aug (Har- 
ry & Roseann Delorys). The last report of 
Black-billed Cuckoo came 3 Nov in Westphal, 
H.R.M. (L. Karchewski), and the last Yellow- 
billed Cuckoo was seen 13 Nov in Port Hast- 
ings, NS (D. 6s: M. Johnstone). Newfoundland 
had a strong autumn season for Yellow-billed, 
with about a dozen reported on the e. Avalon 
Pen. 25 Sep-24 Oct (fide BMt). A Yellow- 
billed Cuckoo noted at Noonan’s Marsh 28 
Oct (Les Homans, Greg & Sandra Feetham) 
made Prince Edward Island’s only report of 
the season. In Nova Scotia, Monte Taylor and 
Ebbe Banstorp found a Northern Hawk Owl 
along Hwy. 104 near Alma, Pktou 22 Nov 
(fide Bob MacDonald). Randy Lauff caught 29 
Northern Saw-whet Owls at his banding sta- 
tion in Fairmont, the strongest count there in 
many years. A Snowy Owl near Cape Race 2 
Nov (Cliff Doran) made the only report of 
this species in Newfoundland this season. 

A second-year male Calliope Humming- 
bird was photographed in Rhodes Corner, 
Lunenburg, NS 16 Sep (M. Eisenhauer) — -a 
first for the Region. Near Trinity Bay, NF, a 
hummingbird first photographed in late Sep 
turned out to be the Region’s first Anna’s 
Hummingbird, but the bird was not identified 
as such until 20 Jan (fide BMt). A Red-headed 
Woodpecker at Big L, Pktou, NS 5 Sep (L. 
Henderson) represented the only report. A 
Downy Woodpecker was on Miquelon 21 Sep 
(LJ), and another was on St. Pierre 21-22 Oct 
(PHa). A locally rare Black-backed Wood- 
pecker was seen in s. Miquelon 1 Nov (Fred 
Disnard, JPA, Jide SA). 

On Bon Portage L, NS, a Western Wood- 
Pewee was reportedly seen and heard singing 
12 Sep (p.a., fide LB); hopefully, details on 
this encounter will be forthcoming. At Canso, 
NS, an Ash-throated Flycatcher was pho- 
tographed 14 Nov (TOK), the province’s 2nd, 
and another was photographed at Lanark, 
Antigonisli 18 Nov, where its finder (Marilyn 
O’Brien) also documented the province’s po- 
tential 3rd reported Gray Kingbird the same 
day. It disappeared after being seen the next 
morning by one observer (FLL). A Western 
Kingbird was at Cape Miquelon 30-31 Oct 
(J63:CH; ph. PB), making the 14th record 
since 1965, when one was found 8 Oct. Nova 
Scotia recorded 6 single Westerns 19 Aug-21 
Nov. Prince Edward Island’s 7th report of Scis- 
sor-tailed Flycatcher came from Fortune 
Bridge 14 Oct (Colleen & Emerson Jackson). 
Single Fork-tailed Flycatchers were pho- 


32 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



ATLANTIC PROVINCES & ST. PIERRE ET MIQUELON 


tographed by astute “nonbirders” at Chapel’s 
Cove, Conception Bay South, NF 19 Sep and 
at Flatrock, NF 29 Sep, the 3rd and 4th 
provincial records for this vagrant (fide BMt). 

¥IRE0S THROUGH WARBLERS 

The 6th ever for the French islands, a Yellow- 
throated Vireo was on St. Pierre 14 Sep (PB); a 
week later, 21 Sep, another was at Daniels 
Head, C.S.I., NS OON); and another was near 
Cappahayden, NF 19-20 Oct (DB, BMt). A 
White-eyed Vireo was also near Cappahayden, 
NF 17 Oct (John Wells, BMt), and another was 
photographed on Pouch Cove Line, NF 7 Nov 
(Lisa de Leon). In Nova Scotia, single White- 
eyed Vireos turned up at four locations in a 
typical late window, 7 Oct-11 Nov, the latest 
being at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, H.R.M. (DAC, 
AV). Nova Scotia’s 5th Bell’s Vireo was a long- 
staying if somewhat secretive bird that fre- 
quented Thornhill Avenue in Halifax 20 
Oct-19 Nov (FLL, m.ob.). Relatively rare mi- 
grants in the Region, single Warbling Vireos 
appeared 6 Sep on Sober I., Pictou, NS (KJM) 
and 11 Oct on Bon Portage 1., NS (LB). Blue 
Jays have been reported annually in the French 
islands since 1989 and now appear to be resi- 
dent there, wdth reports of at least 30 birds be- 
tween St. Pierre and Miquelon (RE). A Cliff 
Swallow at Long Beach, NF 24 Oct (DB) was 
the only one of the season for the province. In 
New Brunswick, a Cave Swallow was seen at 
Pointe-Verte, Gloucester 8 Oct (Roger Gui- 
tard); there are still fewer than 10 provincial 
reports of the species. Two were reported in the 
Eastern Passage, Dartmouth, H.R.M. 10 Oct 
(DOC, NV-G); observers should be cautious in 
ruling out juv. Cliff Swallows, particularly in 
early Oct (most vagrant Cave Swallows are 
recorded later in the autumn). 

A strong flight of Black-capped Chickadees 
was documented in Nova Scotia 25 Sep-10 
Oct. An exhausted Sedge Wren landed on a 
boat 19 km offshore, over Crouse’s Bank, 
Guysborough, NS 4 Nov (TOK); the bird was 
taken into care but expired that night. A juv. 
Winter Wren at Langlade 14 Aug (PHa) repre- 
sented rare evidence of breeding on St. Pierre; 
a Golden-crowned Kinglet seen carrying food 
there 13 & 16 Aug (PB) was also of interest. 
The only Blue-gray Gnatcatcher of the season 
in Newfoundland was found at Cape Spear 27 
Sep (DB); Nova Scotia recorded 7 gnatcatchers 
7 Sep-29 Nov. A Northern Wheatear pho- 
tographed on the sw. corner of the Isthmus, 
Miquelon 23 Sep (RE) made the 13th record 
for the French islands; one was at Cape Spear, 
NF 10 Sep (Terry James), and 2 were there 16 
Sep (Jared Clarke); one was at Cape Race, NF 
23 Sep Oohn Wells); and one was very late at 
Englishtown Ferry, Victoria, NS 1 Nov (TUY, 


CAM). Labrador recorded its first Eastern 
Bluebird, photographed 14 Nov in Labrador 
City (Gordon Parsons, Lome Boone). New 
Brunswick’s 3rd Mountain Bluebird appeared 
in late Jul near Murray Beach RE, Westmorland 
and stayed for nearly a month (Roberta Mc- 
Cabe et al). A Gray-cheeked Thrush at Cape 
Race 19-20 Oct (DB) provided the latest 
provincial record for this species. Bohemian 
Waxwings did not stage an especially large 
flight this season, but Nova Scotia had at least 
15 reports of the species 25 Oct+, with the 
largest counts being 170+ at Dingwell, Victoria 
26 Oct (DEG) and 160 on Big I., Pictou 7 Nov 
(KJM). A few were in St. Pierre on 25 Oct (PB) 
and 6 Nov (PHa); and by 25 Nov, 150 were 
counted in Miquelon (LJ). 

“Winged” warblers are always of note in the 
Region. This season, single Blue-winged War- 
blers were seen on Brier 1., NS 30 Aug (male; 
BRD) and on Bon Portage L, NS 12 Sep (Brad 
Woodworth et al). A Golden-winged Warbler 
at Atwoods Brook, Shelburne 10 Sep OON, SN 
et al.) was the only one reported in the Re- 
gion. Among the season’s rarest warblers in 
Nova Scotia was a Townsend’s Warbler at 
Pleasant Hill Cemetery, H.R.M. 4-11 Nov 
(FLL, MIK, m.ob.). Seven Yellow-throated 
Warblers in Nova Scotia 30 Sep-27 Nov, some 
of these at feeders, were apparently part of a 
widespread reverse flight of the species across 
the e. half of Canada. The late-autumn war- 
bler show at St. John’s, NF included 3 Yellow- 
throateds, one into late Dec, as well as 10 oth- 
er species: 2-3 Orange-crowneds in St. John’s, 
with one seen as late as 20 Nov; a Nashville 3 
Nov; 2 Yellows, with one lingering into Jan; 5+ 
Yellow-rumpeds; 2 Prairies, the latest on 20 
Nov; a Palm 5 Nov; a Pine 13 Nov; 3+ Black- 
and-whites, with one into early Dec; a Wil- 
son’s Warbler 17-27 Nov; and the rarest, a 
Kentucky Warbler 23 Oct-26 Nov (fide BMt). 
Earlier in the season, 8 Prairie Warblers ap- 
peared in e. Newfoundland 6 Sep-19 Oct. A 
Pine Warbler on St. Pierre 3-4 Nov (PB, ph. 
PHa) made just the 3rd record for the French 
islands; others were observed at Trepassey NF 
31 Oct Oohn Wells) and at Torbay, NF 3 Nov 
(Lisa de Leon). A Hooded Warbler banded in 
mid-Sep on Bon Portage 1., NS (fide LB) made 
the season’s only report. A Worm-eating War- 
bler discovered in Trepassey 8 Oct (BMt et al.) 
was re-found the following day and was only 
the 5th for Newfoundland. In addition to one 
in Newfoundland’s big city, single Kentucky 
Warblers turned up at Cape Race 1 1 Sep (KK) 
and Cripple Cove 23 Sep (DB). A Connecticut 
Warbler was well described from a backyard 
in Lower Sackville, H.R.M., NS 24 Aug (LC) 
and relocated 28 Aug (DEG). An Ovenbird 
was late on St. Pierre through at least 10 Nov 


(]D). Nineteen Yellow-breasted Chats in Nova 
Scotia, 14 of these in the usual reverse-migra- 
tion window of 30 Oct-28 Nov, was above av- 
erage, and at least 3 were reported from Prince 
Edward Island, where very scarce. 

SPARROWS THROUGH FINCHES 

Only the 3rd for the French islands was a 
Clay-colored Sparrow on St. Pierre 12 Oct 
(JD, PHa, PB); Nova Scotia’s total of 13 for the 
season (18 Sep-27 Nov) was a bit above aver- 
age. A Grasshopper Sparrow was at Hig- 
ginsville, H.R.M., NS 17 Nov (CHP). Single 
Field Sparrows at Brier 1., NS 10 Oct 
(N.S.B.S., EM) and Canso, NS 25-27 Nov 
(TOK et al.) made the only reports of this 
scarce migrant. A Lark Sparrow was in Gan- 
der, NF 2 Oct (Kevin Butler) and another in 
Cappahayden the next day (DB). Nova Scotia 
tallied at least 10 Lark Sparrows 1 Sep-27 
Nov, above average, and Prince Edward Is- 
land’s 4th documented record came from the 
Greenwich area 8 Oct (Kathy Dunning). In 
Nova Scotia, Vesper Sparrows appeared along 
Marsh Rd., Digby 11 Oct (KJM) and at Little 
Dover, Guysborough 27 Nov (KJM et al). 

A Summer Tanager photographed in St. 
Pierre 12 Oct QD, PHa, LJ, PB) was the 10th 
for the French islands. Rare for Labrador, a 
Scarlet Tanager was found dead in Happy Val- 
ley-Goose Bay 6 Nov (fide BMt). Two Scarlet 
Tanagers were observed on the island of New- 
foundland: one at Cape Race 19-24 Oct (DB et 
al), the other at St. Michael’s-Bauline East 3 
Nov (^de Jared Clarke). Nova Scotia had one 
Summer Tanager at Sackville 21 Oct (Clarence 
L. Stevens, DOM) and a Scarlet at the Eastern 
Passage, Dartmouth, H.R.M. 16 Oct (MIK) and 
another at St. Peters, Richmond the following 
day (Billy Digout). Single Blue Grosbeaks at- 
tending a feeder in St. Pierre 7-12 Sep and 20 
Oct (PHa) made the 9th record for the French 
islands (and possibly 10th, if 2 birds were in- 
volved). Blue Grosbeaks were also on New- 
foundland’s Avalon Pen. at Long Beach-Drook 
14-15 Oct (BMt, KK), at Renews 14 Oct (BMt), 
and at Cappahayden 17 Oct (BMt, JW); anoth- 
er was photographed at Kilbride, NF 17 Nov 
(fide BMt). Nova Scotia had six reports of Blue 
Grosbeaks involving 10 birds 12 Sep-17 Oct. A 
locally uncommon Indigo Bunting also turned 
up on St. Pierre 10 Oct 10 (LJ). A Dickcissel 
was at a feeder in St. Pierre 2-5 Oct (PHa); an- 
other was on Langlade 28 Nov (ph. LJ). Nova 
Scotia had about 9 Dickcissels, seen 29 Aug+ 
(m.ob.). On the Avalon Pen. of Newfoundland, 
Dickcissels were seen by various groups of 
birders along Bear Cove Point Rd. and at Re- 
news 12 Oct, at Trepassey 15 Oct, at Bauline 
Line 7 Nov, and at Whitbourne 13 Nov. 

Single Yellow-headed Blackbirds were at 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


33 


ATLANTIC PROVINCES & ST. PIERRE ET MIQUELON 


Blockhouse, Lunenburg, NS 18 Sep (MIK, 
DEG) and Lockport, NS 25 Sep (m.ob., fide 
DJC), both reported as imm. males. Rare mi- 
grant Orchard Orioles were seen on Bon 
Portage I., NS 28 Aug (LB) and at Hartlen Pt., 
H.R.M., NS 2-5 Sep (AGH, HAT). Single Bul- 
lock’s Orioles were at Baccaro Pt., Shelburne, 
NS 6 Sep QON), at St. Andrews, Antigonisb, 
NS 30 Oct+ [fide RFL), and at Canso, NS 15 
Nov (KJN). Most fringillids were seen in 
moderate numbers. No more than 3 Pine 
Grosbeaks were seen at a time on the French 
islands 26 Sep-16 Nov (fide RE). A male 
Evening Grosbeak turned up 20 Oct on 
Miquelon (LJ), and up to 16 were at feeders in 
St. Pierre 31 Oct-20 Nov OD; PHa). 


Contributors; Joyce Allen, Sylvie Allen-Mahe 
(SA), Jean-Paul Apesteguy, Pascal Asselin, 
Olivier Barden, Lucas Berrigan (LB), Patrick 
Boez, Suzanne Borkowski (SMB), Dave Brown, 
Patricia Chalmers, Lois Codling, Shirley Cohrs 
QSC), Dominic Cormier (DMC), Dave Currie 
(DAC), Joan Czapalay (JCz), Guy D’Entremont 
(GD’E), Elizabeth Doull (EDo), Roger 
Etcheberry, Bernard Forsythe (BLF), George 
Forsythe (GFo), Sylvia Fullerton (SJF), Dennis 
Garrett (DEG), Thierry Gautier, Paul Gould 
(PRG), Patrick Hacala (PHa), Jacky & Chris- 
tine Hebert Q&CH), James Hirtle OAH), Ulli 
Hoger, Andy Horn (AGH), Durian Ingersoll, 
Tom Kavanaugh (TOK), Mike King (MIK), Ken 
Knowles, Laurent Jackman, Fulton Lavender 


(ELL), Danielle Lebollocq, Isabelle Lechasseur, 
Bruce Mactavish (BMt), Blake Maybank (BMy), 
David B. McCorqodale, Ken McKenna (KJM), 
Eric L. Mills (EM), Alan Murrant (ALM), 
Cathy Murrant (CAM), Susann Myers (SEM), 
Nova Scotia Bird Society (N.S.B.S.), "Wayne 
Neily (WPN), Johnny Nickerson QON), San- 
dra Nickerson, Judy O’Brien, Sydney Penner, 
Chris Pepper (CHP), Dorothy Poole (DP), 
Ruth E. Smith, Frances Spalding (ELS), June 
Swift, Stuart Tingley, Azor Vienneau (AV), 
David Walmark (DAW), John Wells. 


Edward S. Brinkley, (guest regional editor) 
124 Peach Street, Cape Charles, Virginia 23301 
(thalassoica@gmail.com) 


r A Hurricane for/ began as an area of disturbed weather 22 Aug off the coast of w. Africa, and three days later. Tropical Storm for/ was named in the vicinity of the Cape Verde Islands. By 
JA29 Aug, Earl had achieved minimal hurricane status and strengthened very rapidly to Category 4 status the next day. After grazing Puerto Rico, the storm passed to the e. of Cape Hat- 
teras, NC 2 Sep and weakened to a tropical storm as it moved up the New England coast 3 Sep. for/ made landfall in Nova Scotia 4 Sep as a re-strengthened Category 1 hurricane before pass- 
ing over Prince Edward Island as a strong tropical storm. Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island experienced much less damage than in the most recent landfalling hurricane, Juan in 2003, but 
the fallout of birds observed as a result of Earl ms beyond anything ever seen in the Region. 

Seabirds are most often considered in discussions of hurricane displacement of birds, but shorebirds are probably transported long distances in these storms as well. Such was almost cer- 
tainly true of the Region's first Snowy Plover, found by Kevin Lantz at Hirtles Beach, Lunenburg 5 Sep and relocated by Maybank later that day at more secluded Kingsburg Beach nearby, 
where it stayed until 1 1 Sep (seen by at least another 14 observers); one at South Side Beach, Cape Sable 1. 16-17 Oct (JON, SN; JQ) was probably the same individual. The 6th for Nova Scotia, 
a Bar-tailed Godwit was discovered by Paul Prior at The Hawk, Cape Sable 1. 7 Sep and seen by multiple observers through 15 Sep (JON, SN et al.). Stu Tingley provided details on this study 
of the bird 13 Sep, which confirmed the identification as baueri, the subspecies that breeds in e. Siberia and w. Alaska. Although this bird's appearance in Nova Scotia could well have been re- 
lated to the passage of the hurricane in some way, it is more likely that this Pacific bird was already present in the area or was perhaps grounded by the rain and high winds, rather than trans- 
ported from southerly climes, as the Snowy Plover probably was. Many other grounded shorebirds were observed 4-8 Sep, of two-dozen species, but most of these were expected species. Sin- 
gle Marbled Godwits at Summerville Beach, Queens 4 & 1 1 Sep (RES, ST) and at White Pt., Lunenburg 8 Sep (J. Loch), plus 2 at Cherry Hill, Lunenburg 5-26 Sep (SJF et al.), were possibly ex- 
ceptions, as there are but 26 prior records for the province, and the species has a history of being displaced by tropical cyclones. Another apparent exception was a banded American Oyster- 
catcher found in the marsh behind Conrad Beach 5 Sep (Paul Evans) and 2 on Brier 1. 9 Sep (EDo). 

More astonishing, given the relative rarity of the species in the annals of hurricane displacement of birds, was the Brown Pelican observed by many at Cole Harbour, H.R.M. 7-9 Sep (Pe- 
ter LeBlanc, m.ob.). Seawatches by several observers around coastal H.R.M. did not produce hoped-for tropical tubenoses but did result in excellent from-shore tallies of Leach's Storm-Petrel: 
on 4 Sep, over SOO were counted from shore — and over the roadways — in H.R.M. (BMy, MIK, DEG; Eagle Eye Tour), over 175 in Lunenburg (OB, IL; SP), about 25 in Queens (OB, IL), and 8 at Big 
L, Plaou (KJM); the next day, more than 50 were seen from Hartlen Pt., H.R.M. (MIK, FLL). In addition to 1 1 Parasitic and 7 Pomarine Jaegers seen from shore, notable seabirds reports includ- 
ed single South Polar Skuas at Hartlen Pt. 4 (MIK) & 5 Sep (MIK, FLL) and a Long-tailed Jaeger there 6 Sep (MIK); a Juv. Long-tailed Jaeger was photographed at W. Berlin, Queens 4 Sep (OB, 
IL). Probably unrelated to the storm, a Great Skua was seen off Brier 1. 5 Sep (WPN, Larry Neily). A Franklin's Gull reported at Northeast Pt., Cape Sable 1. 6 Sep (fide JON) could well have been 
driven northward with the storm, and the same is true of single Cave Swallows at Daniels Head, Cape Sable 1. 4 Sep (JON) and on Bon Portage 1. 1 2 Sep (Brad Woodworth); both of these species 
were reported in mid-Atlantic states after Hurricane Ivan in mid-Sep 2004, for instance, but details have not yet been received for the Nova Scotia reports. With the various summer reports of 
frigatebirds in the Region, it's difficult to say whether the male Magnificent Frigatebird at Hartlen Pt. 6-9 Sep (MIK et al.) was an Earl bird or not, but it was certainly enjoyed by many ob- 
servers, one exception being a Ruby-throated Hummingbird seen attacking it 6 Sep (PC). Hurricanes make for improbable encounters, and not just for birders. 

Though perhaps 3000 Laughing Gulls were detected in se. Canada as a result of the storm. Hurricane Earl will be remembered chiefly as a tern storm in Nova Scotia. Minimally 1 1 species 
of tern (and Black Skimmer) were recorded in the storm's wake, including off-the-scale record-high counts of Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, Gull-billed Tern, and Forster's Tern (Table 1)— 
and pearl of the event. Nova Scotia's first Bridled Tern, found at Hartlen Pt, H.R.M. 4 Sep (ph. Karel Allard, Jen Rock) and seen again 9 Sep (MIK). (Newfoundland has three records of this 
pelagic species, two of them specimens.) The totals of some of these birds were difficult to estimate, as some individuals may have been detected at multiple locations, but the numbers of 
many were staggering; about 7 Gull-billed, 90 Forster's, 38 Royal, and 9 Sandwich. Some species cleared out very quickly after the winds subsided, while others were detected for days, even 
weeks after the storm had passed. Not included in Table 1 are 16 Arctic and 625 Common Terns, whose connection with the storm is a matter of speculation, if the history of hurricanes past is 
any guide, then surely many or most of these birds were entrained at least some distance in for/. 

Some late individuals could have been so weakened by the storm that they remained in Nova Scotia because they were unable to move southward, but we will never really know in such 
cases. Indeed, some of the birds in Table 1 (such as later Caspian Terns) may have had no connection to Earl, but they are included here for the sake of completeness. Black Skimmers that lin- 
gered well into Oct and even Nov, however, were obviously weakened by the storm, and it seems likely that many perished as a result of the storm. Indeed, they were so numerous in Nova Sco- 
tia and New Brunswick (about 130 birds detected) that one wonders whether biologists who work with the species in U.S. breeding colonies will detect lower numbers in the 201 1 breeding 
season as a result of Earl. 


34 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


ATLANTIC PROVINCES & ST. PIERRE ET MIQUELON 


Table 1 , Terns and Black Skimmers observed in association with the passage of Hurricane Earl in eastern Canada, 4 September-8 November 2010. Columns contain location, date, count/estimate, and observers. 
All locations are in Nova Scotia except those specified as New Brunswick. Data complied by Eric Mills and Blake Maybank. 


Least Tern 

Three Fathom Harbour, H.R.M. 

6 Sep 

10 

MIK, EDO 

Black Skimmer 


Daniels Head, Cape Sable 1. 

4 Sep 

1 

MUN,JONetal. 

W. Lawrencetown, H.R.M. 

6 Sep 

2 

MIK 

W. Berlin, Queens 

4 Sep 

1 

0B,IL 

Eastern Passage, H.R.M, 

4 Sep 

1 ad. 

DEG 

Rose Bay, Lunenburg 

6 Sep 

1 

JAH 

Lockeport, Shelburne 

4 Sep 

1 

Robert Turner 

Western Head, Queens 

4 Sep 

1 Imm. 

ph.DP 

Scotian Shelf off Halifax 

6 Sep 

1 

DAC etal. 

Baccaro, Shelburne 

4 Sep 

6 

MUN, JON etal. 

Cherry Hill Beach, Lunenburg 

5 Sep 

1 

SJF 

Cherry Hill Beach, Lunenburg 

6 Sep 

4 

0B,IL 

Causeway, Cape Sable 1. 

4-5 Sep 

4 

OB,IL 

The Hawk, Cape Sable 1. 

5 Sep 

1 

0B,IL 

Summerville Centre, Queens 

6 Sep 

2 

0B,IL 

Bicaro, Shelburne 

5 Sep 

16 

0B,IL 

GuINbilled Tern; 

The Hawk, Cape Sable 1. 

6 Sep 

1 

Eagle Eye Tour 

Blanche, Shelburne 

5 Sep 

12 

OB,IL 

Cherry Hill Beach, Lunenburg 

5-7 Sep 

1 

SJF,JRHetal. 

Cherry Hill Beach, Lunenburg 

7 Sep 

3 

JAH etal. 

Carters Beach, Queens 

5 Sep 

1 

Ruth E. Smith 

E, Petpeswick, H.R.M. 

5-7 Sep 

1 

BLM, Nick Fieldsend 

Crescent Beach, Lunenburg 

7 Sep 

1 

Eagle Eye Tour 

Lockeport area, Shelburne 

5 Sep 

10 

OB,IL 

Three Fathom Harbour, H.R.M. 

6 Sep 

1 

MIK 

Hirtles Beach, Lunenburg 

7 Sep 

2 

John Loch 

Cherry Hill Beach, Lunenburg 

5 Sep 

2 imms. 

SJF 

Cow Bay, H.R.M. 

6 Sep 

1 

ph.HAT 

Kingsburg Beach, Lunenburg 

8 Sep 

4 

MIK 

Eastern Passage, H.R.M. 

5 Sep 

1 imm. 

MIK, HAT etal. 

Cherry Hill, Lunenburg 

6-10 Sep 

1 1mm. 

0B,ILetal. 

Hirtles Beach, Lunenburg 

8 Sep 

2 

JAH 

Eastern Passage, H.R.M. 

6 Sep 

3 

MIK, DEG 

Grand Desert, H.R.M. 

6-10 Sep 

1 

EDO 

E. LaHave, Lunenburg 

8 Sep 

1 

JAH 

HartlenPt., H.R.M. 

6 Sep 

2 ads. 

MIK 

W. Lawrencetown, H.R.M. 

7 Sep 

1 

JO,GD'E 

Port Joli area, Oueens 

9 Sep 

2 

JA 

Cow Bay, H.R.M. 

6 Sep 

1 

HAT 

CaspianTem 

Cherry Hill Beach, Lunenburg 

9 Sep 

1 

JAH,CLS 

Rose Bay, Lunenburg 

6 Sep 

1 

JAH 

Daniels Head, Cape Sable 1. 

4 Sep 

1 

MUN,JONetal. 

Kingsburg Beach, Lunenburg 

9 Sep 

5 

JAH etal. 

Hirtles Beach, Lunenburg 

6 Sep 

2 

Kevin Lantz, BLM et al. 

Western Head area. Queens 

4 Sep 

2 

DP 

Rose Bay, Lunenburg 

9 Sep 

1 

JAH 

Cherry Hill Beach Lunenburg 

6 Sep 

3 

OB,IL 

Hirtles Pond, Lunenburg 

4 Sep 

1 

SP 

Hirtles Beach, Lunenburg 

10 Sep 

2 

HAT 

Port Joli area. Queens 

6 Sep 

1 ad. 

JA 

Eastern Passage, H.R.M. 

4 Sep 

1 ad. 

DEG 

Cherry Hill Beach, Lunenburg 

10 Sep 

3 

JAH, DAW 

Blanche, Shelburne 

6 Sep 

21 

Me JON 

Hirtles Pond, Lunenburg 

5 Sep 

1 

Kevin Lantz 

Hirtles Beach, Lunenburg 

11 Sep 

2 

ST 

Eastern Passage, H.R.M. 

6-18 Sep 

2 imms. 

MiK,DEG,m.ob. 

W. Lawrencetown, H.R.M. 

6 Sep 

1 

MIK 

Summerville Beach, Queens 

11 Sep 

3 

ST 

Eastern Passage, H.R.M. 

7 Sep 

3 imms. 

MiK 

Cow Bay, H.R.M. 

6 Sep 

1 

EDO 

Kingsburg Beach, Lunenburg 

12 Sep 

4 

JAH 

Grand Pre, Kings 

7-9 Sep 

1 

MeULH,JCT 

Second Pen., Lunenburg 

6 Sep 

1 

JAH 

Cherry Hill, Lunenburg 

12 Sep 

1 

JAH 

Hirtles Beach, Lunenburg 

7-9 Sep 

1 

John Loch 

Western Head, Queens 

6 Sep 

1 

OB,IL 

Castalia Marsh, NB 

14 Sep 

1 

C. & R. LaPoInte, Dl 

Kingsburg Beach, Lunenburg 

8 Sep 

1 ad. 

MIKetal. 

W. Lawrencetown, H.R.M. 

7 Sep 

3 

J0,GD'E 

Eel R. bar, ftestigouche, NB 

20 Sep 

1 

ph. R, Doiron 

Hirtles Beach, Lunenburg 

8 Sep 

2 

JAH 

Kingsburg Beach, Lunenburg 

8 Sep 

1 

MIK 

Royal Tern 

Conrads L, Rose Bay, Lunenburg 

8 Sep 

1 

JAH 

Second Pen., Lunenburg 

9 Sep 

1 

JAH 

i\g\.,Pictou 

4 Sep 

1 

ph.KJM 

Cherry Hill Beach, Lunenburg 

8 Sep 

5 

JRH 

Red Bridge Pond, Dartmouth 

11-17Sep 

1-2 

Bernard Burke 

Rainbow Haven P.P., H.R.M. 

4 Sep 

1 

MIK, DEG, FLL 

Blanche, Shelburne 

8 Sep 

3 

JON.SN 

Dartmouth Crossing 

16 Sep 

1 

Lynn Karchewski, EDo 

Daniels Head, Cape Sable 1. 

4 Sep 

1 

MUN, JON etal. 

Causeway, Cape Sable 1. 

8 Sep 

6 

JON.SN 

Eastern Passage, H.R.M. 

7 Oct 

2 

fide DAC 

Cape Sable 1. 

4-5 Sep 

2 

OB 

The Hawk, Cape Sable 1. 

8 Sep 

8 

J0N,SN 

Black Tern 

Daniels Head, Cape Sable 1. 

5 Sep 

1 ad., b. 

0B,IL 

Port Joli area. Queens 

9 Sep 

23 

JA 

W. Berlin, Queens 

4 Sep 

2 

OB,IL 

Barrington Pass, Shelburne 

5 Sep 

3 

0B,IL 

Kingsburg Beach, Lunenburg 

9 Sep 

1 

JAH etal. 

Beach Meadows, Queens 

4 Sep 

6 

OB,IL 

Martins Brook, Cape Sable 1. 

5 Sep , 

1 

BLF, Rick Whitman 

Rose Bay, Lunenburg 

9-12 Sep 

4 

JAH, m.ob. 

Western Head, Queens 

4 Sep 

2 

OB,IL 

Eastern Passage area, H.R.M. 

5 Sep 

1 

MIKetal. 

Causeway, Cape Sable 1. 

10 Sep 

5-6 

JON, ST 

Roseway, Shelburne 

5 Sep 

2 

0B,IL 

Near Devils 1., Halifax Harbour 

5 Sep 

9 

FLL 

Harden Pt„ H.R.M. 

10 Sep 

3 imms. 

MIK 

Roseate Tern 

Port Joli, Queens 

5 Sep 

1 

JA 

Cherry Hill Beach, Lunenburg 

10 Sep 

5 

JAH, DP 

Daniels Head, Cape Sable 1. 

4 Sep 

3 

MUN,JONetal. 

W. Lawrencetown, H.R.M. 

6 Sep 

1 

MIK, PC 

Hirtles Beach, Lunenburg 

11 Sep 

1 

ST 

W. Berlin, Queens 

4 Sep 

1 

0B,IL 

Eastern Passage, H.R.M. 

6 Sep 

1 

MIK 

Kingsburg Beach, Lunenburg 

ll-12Sep 

1 

JAH 

Pt. Medway, Queens 

4 Sep 

1 

0B,IL 

Cow Bay, H.R.M. 

6 Sep 

1 

MIK, HAT 

Summerville Beach, Queens 

11-12 Sep 

1 ad. 

ST 

Cape Sable, Cape Sable 1. 

13 Sep 

1 ad. 

ST 

Daniels Head, Cape Sable 1. 

6 Sep 

1 

Eagle Eye Tour 

The Hawk, Cape Sable 1. 

13 Sep 

3 

ST 

Forster's Tern 

Hirtles Beach, Lunenburg 

7 Sep 

1 

John Loch 

Castalia Marsh, NB 

13 Sep 

1* 

R. Gardner 

Eastern Passage, H.R.M. 

4 Sep 

1 

DEG 

Bon Portage 1. 

7 Sep 

2 

/rr/e Brad Woodworth 

Pond Cove, Brier 1. 

17 Sep 

3 

JAH 

near Bridgewater, Lunenburg 

4 Sep 

1 

JAH 

Hirtles Beach, Lunenburg 

7-8 Sep 

1 

JillMacLean, JAH 

Lorneville, NB 

18 Sep 

3 

N.&G. Belliveau 

Second Pen., Lunenburg 

4 Sep 

1 

JAH 

The Hawk, Cape Sable 1, 

8 Sep 

1 

J0N,SN 

Causeway, Cape Sable I. 

22 Sep 

6 

JON 

Kingsburg Beach, Lunenburg 

4 Sep 

7 

0B,IL 

Kingsburg Beach, Lunenburg 

8 Sep 

1 

JAH 

Conrad's L, Rose Bay, Lunenburg 

25 Sep 

5 

EM 

Western Head area. Queens 

4 Sep 

1 

DP,OB,IL 

Hirtles Beach, Lunenburg 

9 Sep 

2 

JAH etal. 

Crescent Beach, Lunenburg 

30 Sep 

7 

JSC 

W. Berlin, Queens 

4 Sep 

2 

0B,IL 

Kingsburg Beach, Lunenburg 

9 Sep 

1 

JAH etal. 

Crescent Beach, Lunenburg 

3-5 Oct 

9 

JSC 

Pt. Medway, Queens 

4 Sep 

2 

0B,IL 

Kingsburg Beach, Lunenburg 

11-12 Sep 

1-3 

JAH 

Seaforth, H.R.M. 

10 Oct 

1 

KAM 

Eastern Passage, H.R.M. 

5 Sep 

1 

MIKetal. 

Prospect village, H.R.M. 

22 Sep 

1 

Peter Browne 

Crescent Beach, Lunenburg 

10 Oct 

7 

JSC 

Blandford/Bayswater, Lunenburg 

5 Sep 

4 

BLF, Rick Whitman 

Sandwich Tern 

Seal Cove, Grand Manan L, NB 

11 Oct 

7 

JSC 

Cherry Hill Beach, Lunenburg 

5 Sep 

2 

SJF 

Hirtles Pond, Lunenburg 

4 Sep 

1 

SP 

Crescent Beach, Lunenburg 

17 Oct 

1 

JSC 

Port Joli area, Otreerrs 

5 Sep 

2-f 

JA 

Shearwater area, H.R.M. 

5-6 Sep 

1 

MIK, SMB 

Crescent Beach, Lunenburg 

29 Oct 

5 

JSC 

Lockeport, Shelburne 

5 Sep 

2 

OB,IL 

E. Petpeswick, H.R.M. 

5-6 Sep 

3 

BLM, Nick Fieldsend 

Westport, Brier 1. 

30 Oct 

3 imms. 

EM 

Roseway, Shelburne 

5 Sep 

1 

0B,IL 

Three Fathom Harbour, H.R.M. 

6 Sep 

1 

MIK 

Crescent Beach, Lunenburg 

4-5 Nov 

5 

BLF, JSC 

Blanche, Shelburne 

5 Sep 

6 

OB,IL 

W. Lawrencetown, H.R.M. 

6 Sep 

1 

MIK 

Crescent Beach, Lunenburg 

6 Nov 

3 

JSC 

Cape Sable 1. 

5 Sep 

2 

0B,IL 

Hirtles Beach, Lunenburg 

6-7 Sep 

1 

DMC, BLM etal. 

Crescent Beach, Lunenburg 

8 Nov 

3 

JSC 

Hirtles Beach, Lunenburg 

5/6 Sep 

3-6 

Kevin Lantz etal. 

Kingsburg Beach, Lunenburg 

8 Sep 

1 

MIK 

1 *0lher Sep sightings followed on Grand Manan 1., probably of the same bird. | 


VOLUME 65 (2011) 


NUMBER 1 


35 











Quebec 


Ungava 

Peninsula 


Kuujjuaq 




Chibou- 

*gamau 


®Amos 

L. Sai/ii-Jean 
* Rouyn 


fe?. 

Bale- 
Comeau 

.^'^Matane 

Tadoussac* 

Cap-Tourmente 
Quebec City# 

Berthierville^ •• 

Montreal^., a «Victoriaville 
' ' ? ©Sherbrooke 


^*Matan 
>ussac* %5., 
ente« 
ty« 


V-- lle-d'Andcosti 

* Gaspe 

* Perce ^‘»’>'encr 


Pierre Bannon 
OHvier Barden 
Normand David 
Samuel Denault 


A s was true of the previous five fall sea- 
sons, fall 2010 benefited from above- 
average temperatures. The greatest 
discrepancy from the norm was measured in 
northern Quebec, where temperatures were 
4-5° C above average. At Kuujjuaq, Novem- 
ber was 6.5° C above normal, the mildest No- 
vember on record for this northern locality. 
Precipitation was also above average, espe- 
cially in the south and east. Record amounts 
of rain fell in the month of September. The 
Gaspe Peninsula had three to four times its 
normal amount of rain in September. We 
thank Michel Gosselin for assistance in com- 
posing the Special Attention feature on the 
nesting of Trumpeter Swans in Quebec, the 
first in modern times. 

WATERFOWL THROUGH EGRETS 

A Pink-footed Goose was photographed at 
Saint-Frangois-Xavier-de-Brompton 18 Oct (E. 
& E Langlois et al). Single Mute Swans ap- 
peared at lie Saint-Eugene, Pointe-du-Lac 1-25 
Aug (G. Dussault, K.-A. Do) and at 
Boucherville 2-7 Aug (R. Calderoni, m.ob.). 
Two Black Swans, certainly locally released, 
caused a surprise at Gore in the Laurentians 28 
Aug-5 Sep (J. Anderson, C. Lapointe). A Trum- 
peter Swan continued in La Mauride N.R until 
at least 24 Oct (S. Bouchard et al). A Tundra 
Swan was found at Mandeville 18 Oct (R. 
Piche, GC), while 8 birds were spotted in flight 
at Ormstown 20 Nov (Y. Pilon). A high but not 
unprecedented count of 5 Eurasian Wigeons 
was noteworthy for Sept-Iles 15 Nov (CC et 
al.), one bird remaining through 27 Nov (H. 
Hamel, G. Hamelin). A Canvasback showed up 
at Chambly 18 Oct-3 Nov (R. Chattier, m.ob.). 


r |j Normand David and .Michel Gosselin have investigated the historical and recent status of nesting Trumpeter Swans in 
.J f ■ IQuebec. They write : "Before the confirmation of breeding Trumpeter Swan during the Quebec Smedinq BirdAtIm in 201 0, 
there was only a single, vague, second-hand indication of its former breeding: George Barnston, a Hudson's Bay Company em- 
ployee posted in Albany, Ontario in the late 1830s-eariy 1840s, reported that'towards Eastmain Fort, in James Bay, a vast num- 
ber of swans hatch.' Lumsden (1984. Canadm Field-HatmaM%: 41 5-424) inferred that these swans were Trumpeters. The last 
confirmed historical specimen of a migrant Trumpeter Swan in Quebec was taken in Longueuil in the spring of 1830. 

"Modern reports of Trumpeter Swans in e. North America pertain to birds released for introduction programs, as wei! as 
their progeny, many of which have no bands or patagial (wing) tags. The first modem reports in Quebec were from Timis- 
cm'mgue in spring 1993, and since 2004, the species has been recorded annually in the province. Some of these birds were 
wing-tagged and have been linked to the Ontario restoration program that took place from 1982 to 2006. The vast majority of 
Trumpeter Swans reported in Quebec are from Abitibi-Iemkmingue, due n. of the main Ontario release site in Midland. This 
is in the Clay Belt area that Lumsden had identified as probable historical breeding habitat for swans because of its calcium- 
rich soil; fittingly, this is where the first modern Regional breeding record comes from. 

"Over the past three years, Louis Imbeau and Jean-Fran^ois Doyon have helped to confirm the successful breeding of Trum- 
peter Swans at a pond in Joutel, Abitibi. In 2008, Doyon reported a pair there on 25 Jun and 15 Aug. The female bore a wing 
tag (#963) that indicated she had been tagged 2 Nov 2005 at Burlington, ON, at one of the main wintering sites for introduced 
Ontario Trumpeter Swans. This site is 700 km due s. of Joutel. In 2009, Marc-Antoine Montpetit and Franpis Hebert recorded 
2 banded ads. at the same pond 13-14 Aug, one of which was a female tagged as an ad. in Burlington 14 Feb 2009 (tag tE81); 
this female also wintered at Buriington in 2009-2010. Doyon subsequently saw a pair again on the same pond 1 7 Aug and 22 
Sep 2009. Finally, in 2010, he observed a pair 22 Apr (one of which was tagged, but the number could not be read), and then 
a pair with 2 cygnets on 29 Jul, 1 1 Aug, and 14 Sep (ph.)." 


Two Pacific Loons were identified from the fer- 
ry between Trois-Pistoles and Les Escoumins 
19 Sep (ED, RD), and another was at lie aux 
Basques 10-16 Oct (1. Lechasseur, OB). 

A Northern Gannet was photographed at 
Victoriaville 11 Nov (G. Smith, fide B. Di 
Labio), and 2 were seen flying over Sainte- 
Anne-de-Bellevue 14 Nov (BB). An American 
White Pelican delighted many at L. Boivin, 
Granby, as it lingered for over two months, 10 
Sep-19 Nov, thus providing a Regional 
record-late date (B. Hamel, m.ob.). Some 


post-breeding gatherings of Great Egrets in- 
cluded 30 at Deschenes 21 Aug (RLD et al), 

22 at Saint-Barthelemy 7 Sep (L. Jacques), and 
25 at Longueuil 7 Sep (YG). A Snowy Egret 
was located at Maple Grove 12 Aug (RB) and 
again 6 Sep (DJL). Post-breeding Cattle Egrets 
dispersed northward into the Region in im- 
pressive numbers from 1 Oct through late 
Nov, amounting to a total of 30 birds at 20 lo- 
calities. The northernmost was located ne. of 
Chibougamau (50° IF 05” N, 73° 20’ 50” W) 

23 Oct (R. Bouchard). 



This family group of Trumpeter Swans present at Joutel, Quebec in 2010 (here 14 September) provided the first confirmation 
of nesting in Quebec. Photograph by Jean-Fma^ois Doyon. 


36 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


QUEBEC 



This Northern Lapwing, the fourth documented in Quebec, was found at Sept-iles 26 
November 2010. It was apparently the first individual detected in a mini-invasion of 
the species in eastern North America in late fall and early winter 2010. Photograph 
by Bruno Duchesne. 

VULTURES THROUGH CUCKOOS 

A Black Vulture was encountered at Saint- 
Godefroid 5 Sep (M. Arsenault). Notable con- 
centrations of Turkey Vultures involved 53 at 
Metabetchouan 21 Aug (C. Cormier, GS) and 
89 at Mont-Laurier 27 Aug (R. Lebrun). Two 
Bald Eagles were reported n. of their range in 
the Ungava Pen, along the Koksoak R, 17 Sep 
(R May, fide SD). A flight of 2413 Broad- 
winged Hawks (1532 in one hour) at the 
Montreal west end hawkwatch 10 Sep was 
one of the highest single-day totals in recent 
times (BB, MM). A Swainson’s Hawk was a 
rare sight at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue 31 Oct 
(BB). An ailing Purple Gallinule picked up at 
Fermont in late Oct unfortunately died 1 Nov 
(ph. B. Jolicoeur). 

A Northern Lapwing was photographed at 
Sept-iles 26 Nov-3 Dec, the first in over 40 
years (B. Duchesne, CC). The Region wit- 
nessed one of its best flights of Buff-breasted 
Sandpiper in years. Peaks of 18 at Res, Baska- 
tong 1 Sep (MAM, A. Crepeau), 5 at Lorraine 
3 Sep (DJL), 9 at Moisie 6 Sep OFL), and 5 at 
Val d’Or 7 Sep (R. Ladurantaye) were note- 
worthy. A juv. Ruff paused at Gatineau 6 Sep 
(R. Bisson,]. Savard). 

Sabine’s Gulls were seen regularly on boat 
tours off the North Shore from 6 Aug into ear- 
ly Oct; inland, singles were reported at Sainte- 
Petronille, Victoriaville, and Gatineau. Up to 
2 Black-headed Gulls persisted near Les Es- 
coumins for most of fall (m.ob.), while an 
imm. stopped at Sainte-Petronille 16 Oct 
(GC) and another at Saint- Vallier 31 Oct (L. 

Messely). In early Sep, about 10 Laughing 
Gulls were reported in the province in the 
days following the passage of Hurricane Earl 
through the Canadian Maritimes. Single 
Franklin’s Gulls were found at Rimouski 17 


Aug (GG, DR), at Sept-iles 
11 Sep OFL), at Trois-Riv- 
ieres 28 Sep-5 Oct (S. 
Hamel), and in the Sague- 
nay fjord 7 Oct (RP, C. St- 
Hilaire). Single Forster’s 
Terns graced the Tadous- 
sac-Les Escoumins area 22 
Sep-5 Oct (RP, FD, RD) and 
Deschenes 22 Sep (RLD). At 
least one first-summer 
Long-tailed Jaeger was seen 
at Bergeronnes and Cap de 
Bon-Desir 1 & 4 Aug (OB et 
ai.), a bird of unknown age 
was seen from the Trois-Pis- 
toles-Les Escoumins ferry 8 
Aug (FD, RD), and a dark- 
morph juv. was off Tadous- 
sac 11 Sep (SD et al.). 

Single White-winged 
Doves were discovered at Les Bergeronnes 3-5 
Aug (HMj) and Sainte-Catherine 16 Oct-20 
Nov (ph. E. Robichaud, E. Lepage). Totals of 
3-4 per year have been recorded for this 
species in the past four years. Eleven Yellow- 
billed Cuckoos were reported, including 6 in 
the Gaspe Peninsula. 

HUMMINGBIRDS 
THROUGH THRUSHES 

Two hatch-year male Archilochus humming- 
birds were photographed on record-late dates, 
both identified as Ruby- 
throateds by Nancy New- 
field. The first was at Magog 
23-24 Oct (A. Arbour); the 
other was at Saint-Lazare 6- 
26 Nov (L. Rondeau). 

Quebec’s 2nd Anna’s Hum- 
mingbird, a male sporting a 
full gorget, was savored by 
many at Val-d’Espoir 7 Nov+ 

(L. Dallaire, m.ob., ph.); the 
bird had been present there 
since late Sep. An ad. Red- 
headed Woodpecker fre- 
quented at least two back- 
yards in Sainte-Foy, in 
Quebec City 1-11 Sep (R. A. 

Jones, fide GC). Based on 
photographs of a juv. Red- 
bellied Woodpecker taken at 
Chateauguay 29 Aug, it appears that the 
species nested there for at least the 3rd time 
since 2006 (L. Lemay M. Amyot). 

A Western Kingbird was described from 
Saint-Joachim, near Cap Tourmente 23 Sep (R 
Cote, M. Girard). A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 
was at Cap-des-Rosiers 19-28 Oct (M. Lin- 
court, S. Allard, m.ob., ph.). Fork-tailed Fly- 


catchers were reported for the 5th year out of 
the past six, with one at LEtang-du-Nord, 
Magdalen Is. 22 Aug (G. Forest, B. Vigneault) 
and another flying by Sainte-Anne-de-Belle- 
vue 30 Oct (BB, MM), to end the fantastic 
season for vagrant Tyramnis. Many Red-eyed 
Vireos were busy double-brooding this fall, in 
some cases with fledglings into late Sep. In 
such a context, a late hatch-year bird at 
Sainte-Catherine 21 Nov was perhaps not 
unexpected (RB). A limited Gray Jay flight 
took place in s. Quebec, where about a dozen 
were reported starting in late Sep in the sw. 
corner of the Region as far s. as Boucherville. 
The fall 2007 flight was of greater magnitude, 
at least in the e. half of the Region, but birds 
did not show up as far south. 

A Purple Martin near Ville-Marie 27 Aug 
apparently provided a first for the Temis- 
camingue region (JF). A late Tree Swallow 
was still at Havre Saint-Pierre 21 Oct (FG). 
Cliff Swallows have occurred in e. Quebec 
during Oct, but a total of about 30 in the Ta- 
doussac area throughout Oct this season is 
unprecedented. Highlights include a one- 
day count of 11 on 18 Oct (SB) and a very 
late bird 2 Nov (AA, SD). Overlapping with 
the Cliff Swallow phenomenon was the ear- 
ly wave of Cave Swallows sweeping 
through the e. interior of the continent, and 
Quebec was not bypassed this time. The first 
was reported at Saint-Vallier 28 Oct (OB), 2 
were at Ville-Marie 29 Oct QF), one at Saint- 



At Tadoussac, Quebec, this juvenile Long-tailed Jaeger was nicely photographed 1 1 
September 2010. Photograph by Samuel Denault. 

Vallier again 30 Oct QR Ouellet, M. Lafleur), 
and one at Tadoussac 1 Nov (HMJ, SB, AA). 
The number of records now stands at an 
even 10 from three low-pressure systems (in 
1999, 2008, and 2010). Locally record-late 
Marsh Wrens were photographed at Saint- 
Fulgence 13 Nov (4th for Sagucnay-Lac-St- 
Jeair, GS) and at Cap Tourmente 13-16 Nov 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


37 


QUEBEC 




Quebec has more than two-dozen records of White-winged Dove, but this bird in the 
Montreal area 19 October 2010 was the first for this well-birded city. Pk§togmph by 
Pierre Bamon. 

(m.ob.). Three Northern Wheatears were 
spotted this fall: at Cap Tourmente 6 Sep (P. 

Lane, M. Raymond, M. Dallaire), Sept-iles 
11-12 Sep (FG et al.), and Moisie 24 Oct 
QFL). The fall flight of Townsend’s Solitaires 
was the best since 2007, with singles at 


Red-bellied Woodpecker was reported breeding in 2006 and 2007 at 
Chateauguay but without photographic evidence. This young Red-bellied 
Woodpecker was photographed 29 August 2010, confirming a third breed- 
ing record for Chateauguay and for Quebec. Photograph by Luden Lemay. 

Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka 13-17 Oct (ph. D. 

Collins, m.ob.), Terrebonne 18 Oct (C. 
Belanger), Tadoussac 31 Oct (RP), 
Hebertville 6 Nov (M. Tremblay), Chandler 
6-7 Nov (B. Cyr et al.), Luskville 21 Nov (G. 
Desjardins, M. Bedard), and Lac-Etchemin 
24-26 Nov (M. Labrie, m.ob.). 


WAGTAIL 

THROUGH OiiOLES 

A description of an un- 
known bird at He aux 
Coudres 12 Oct indicated 
a ’White Wagtail in basic 
plumage (C. & R. Fortin, 
jide C. Gagnon); the only 
previous record in the Re- 
gion came from Meta- 
betchouan in May 2002. 
An ad. male Blue-winged 
Warbler at Sainte-Therese- 
de-Gaspe 22 Sep (A. Cou- 
ture) was the 3rd of its 
species to be seen on the 
Gaspe Peninsula. Late 
birds on 29 Nov were a 
Nashville Warbler at De- 
schenes (J. Spence) and a 
Yellow Warbler at LaSalle (L. Trottier). Yellow- 
throated Warblers with yellow lores were seen 
at Jonquiere 18 Sep-22 Nov (2nd for Saguemy- 
Lac-St-Jeair, ph. G. Allard, m.ob.) and Pabos 
12-17 Nov Q. Blais et al); a white-lored bird 
was at Longueuil 14 Nov-9 Dec (D. Ouellette, 

m. ob.). A first-year male Prairie 
Warbler paused at Cap Tourmente 
30 Aug (S. Rioux, OB). A stunning 

ad. male Hooded Warbler was en- 
joyed by birders at Cap Tourmente 
27 Aug-1 Sep (FD, RD) but appar- 
ently seen by a local naturalist on 
11 Jul. Remarkably, a first-year fe- 
male Hooded was at the same loca- 
tion 16 Sep (R. Lepage). One of the 
more unusual events of the fall was 
the discovery of a male Spotted 
Towhee accoin.panying an Eastern 
Towhee at ile aux Basques 11 Oct 
(B. Gariepy). Up to 2 Clay-colored 
Sparrows at Riviere-Saint-Jean 2-13 
Oct were noteworthy (YR, C. 
Buidin). Lark Sparrows made char- 
acteristically short visits at Sept-iles 
11 Oct Obh) and Quebec City 10- 
11 Nov QM. Giroux, m.ob.). A 
Grasshopper Sparrow at lie Char- 
ron 26 Sep represented a very rare 
fall sighting (ph. YG al). 

A magical year for Summer Tan- 
agers in the Region, 2010 pro- 
duced a total of 9 birds, including 
6 in autumn, all photographically 
documented: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu 8 Sep 
(M. Gauthier, LE. Brochu-Maille), Riviere-au- 
Tonnerre 17 Oct (M. Page), Normandin 30 
Oct (C. Bellemare et al), Dorion 8-11 Nov (L. 
Castonguay, fide A. Hogue), Victoriaville 10- 
19 Nov (G. Huot, D. Labonte), and Saint- 
Luc/La Prairie 18-28 Nov (G. & R. Boulet, Jide 


E Riou). Now rarer than the former species in 
late fall, Scarlet Tanagers were notable at ile de 
I’Est, Magdalen Is. 12 Oct (found dead; JC. 
Richard) and at Saint-Ubalde 16 Nov (ph. J. 
Coutu). Beginning in Oct, there appeared to 
be a surge of Northern Cardinals slightly be- 
yond their ever-increasing range, with one re- 
ported in Abitibi, one in Gaspesk, several in 
Saguenay-Lac-St-Jem, and 6 in Cote-Nord, 
with one there as far e. as Pointe-aux-Out- 
ardes 29-30 Oct (S. Pare). An imm. Blue Gros- 
beak entertained birders at Perce 23-29 Oct (E 
de Caen et al., ph.) followed by a rare fall 
record of an ad. male at 'Ville-Marie 29 Oct 
(JF). It was a slow fall for Dickcissels, with 
only five reports, the rarest by location being 
at Lac-Megantic, Estrie in early Nov (m.ob.). 

As presaged by the Jul records, a memo- 
rable flight of Yellow-headed Blackbirds oc- 
curred, easily the best in more than a decade, 
with singles at Rimouski 5 Aug (GG, DR), 
Dundee 24 Aug 0- Bacon, J. Demarre), and 
Palmarolle 27 Aug (S. Gagnon), 2 at Mont- 
magny 16-20 Sep (GC, J. Bernier et al.), and 
an astonishing 5 at Saint-Timothee 17 Sep (S. 
Deshaies). Always rare on the North Shore, a 
Western Meadowlark was at Les Escoumins 
26 Nov+ (MA. Bouchard). An imm. Orchard 
Oriole stopped by the Tadoussac dunes 17 
Oct (ph. SD), a 3rd record for the North Shore 
and a 5th provincial fall record. 

Contributors (subregional editors in boldfa- 
ce): Alexandre Anctil, Pierre Bannon (Mont- 
real), Olivier Barden, Bob Barnhurst, Alain 
Beauchamp (Beauce-Etchemin), Raymond 
Belhumeur, Samuel Belleau, Claire Couture, 
Gerard Cyr, Normand David, Samuel De- 
nault, Frangois Dion, Roger Dion, Claire 
Douville (Lower-St. Lawrence), Jean-Fran- 
gois Doyon, Rodolphe L. Dubois, Jonathan 
Frechette, Francis Gallant, Yves Gauthier, 
Guy Gendron, Louis Imbeau (Abitibi), Hilde 
Marie Johansen, Jean-Frangois Laporte, Don- 
Jean Leandri, Mabel McIntosh, Marc-Antoine 
Montpetit, Renaud Pintiaux, Pierre Poulin 
(Gaspesie), Alain Richard (Magdalen Is.), 
Yann Rochepault (North Shore), jean-Fran- 
gois Rousseau (Quebec City), Danielle Ruest, 
Germain Savard (Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean), 
Daniel Toussaint (Outaouais). ^ 


Pierre Bannsn, 517 Leprohon 

Montreal, Quftec H4E 1P1, (pbannon@videotron.ca) 

Olivier Barden, 955 Lienard, Apt. 5 

Quebec, Quebec GW 2W6, (iridosornis@gmail.com) 

fJermand Dawid, 10385A rue Clark 

Montreal, Quebec H3L 2S3, (normanddavid@videotron.ca) 

Samyil Dsnault, 75 Beaudiemin 

Saint-Basile-le-Grand, Quebec J3N 1 J6 

(samuei.denault@videotron.ca) 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


New England 



Walter G. Ellison 
Nancy L Martin 

A utumn in 201 1 for New England was a 
bit warmer than average, especially in 
the first two months, and there was av- 
erage to below-average precipitation, save for 
a wet October. Most notable migration events 
correlated nicely with the passage of cold 
fronts, great and small, and only a few flights 
seemed to be noticed Region-wide, including 
a good fallout from Maine to Connecticut on 
21 September, and fallouts on the central 
Maine coast and Block Island, Rhode Island 
8-9 October. The season also saw a glancing 
blow from Hurricane Earl on 3 September as 
it went on to make a direct hit on the Cana- 
dian Maritime provinces. The most notewor- 
thy effects of the storm appeared to be on 
gulls and terns, especially Black and Forster’s 
Terns, and on Black Skimmers. Southwester- 
ly winds appeared to push an array of rarities 
into the Region 24-31 October, including the 
Region’s first Bronzed Cowbird, a Gray King- 
bird, and Cave Swallows. In late November, 
southwesterly winds produced another larger, 
and rather more northerly, flight of Cave 
Swallows — the largest on record for coastal 
Massachusetts, with far fewer in Connecticut. 
The season was outstanding for exciting rari- 
ties. The bird of the season was North Amer- 
ica’s fourth and the Region’s first White- 
chinned Petrel in late August in Maine. Maine 
also provided a long overdue first with an 
adult Yellow-billed Loon in late October. Oth- 
er excellent finds included Pink-footed 
Goose, White-tailed Kite, Northern Lapwing, 
Common Ringed Plover, Sharp-tailed Sand- 
piper, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Swain- 
son’s Warbler, and Golden-crowned Sparrow, 
plus an unidentified Progne martin that was 
not a Purple but that could not be identified 
from photographs. 


Abbreviations: Block 1. (Washington, RI); 
Bluff Pt. (Groton, New London, CT); Char- 
lotte (on L. Champlain shore, Charlotte, 
Chittenden, VT); Cousin’s 1. (Sandy Point 
Beach, Yarmouth, Cumberland, ME); Cum- 
berland Farms (Cumberland Farms, Middle- 
boro, Plymouth, MA); D.C.W.M.A. (Dead 
Creek W.M.A., Addison and Panton, Addison, 
VT); Lighthouse Pt. (at New Haven, New 
Haven, CT); Monhegan (Monhegan L, Lin- 
coln, ME); Plum 1. (at Newbury/Rowley, Es- 
sex, MA); S. Beach (South Beach L, Chatham, 
Barnstable, MA). 

WATERFOWL THROUGH IBISES 

Combing large goose flocks continues to be a 
rewarding exercise in New England. This au- 
tumn’s haul included Massachusetts’ 3rd 
Pink-footed Goose seen by many at Sudbury, 
Middlesex 17 Nov+ (G. Gove, J. Gordon, ph. 
JT, m.ob.); both previous state records are 
from the winter season. At least 11 Greater 
White-fronted Geese were reported 7 Oct+, 
including a high count of 3 at Trafton L., 
Limestone, Aroostook, ME 21 Nov (BS). Ross’s 
Geese were reported in the Champlain Valley 
at D.C.W.M.A., with an ad. 14-28 Nov (TGM 
et al.) joined by another 25 Nov (R. Enser). 
Another ad. consorting with Canada Geese at 
Winterport, Waldo, ME 21-24 Nov Q- Wyatt, 
ph. P Corcoran et al.) was much less expect- 


ed. Three of 4 Barnacle Geese found arrived 
in Oct, with singles at Mackenzie Res., 
Wallingford, New Haven, CT 10 Oct-Nov (M. 
Barriger), another long-staying bird in Acton 
and Concord, Middlesex, MA 20 Oct-26 Nov 
(D. Sibley et al), another in Windsor, Hart- 
ford, CT 31 Oct-Dec (B. Kleinman), and one 
at Storrs, Tolland, CT 21 Nov+ (B. Covello). 
Nineteen Cackling Geese were sprinkled 
around all New England states exept Rhode 
Island, with a maximum of 3 at D.C.W.M.A. 
17 Oct (CP, NB). In most autumn seasons. 
Tundra Swans stray eastward into New Eng- 


land in single digits, but occasional major 
eastward displacements do occur rarely; an 
impressive 58 appeared 20 Nov in w. New 
England, including 10 at Ompompanoosuc, 
Windsor, VT (S. & D. Hardy, B. Heitzman et 
al), 19 at Gate 5, Quabbin Res., Hampshire 
(L. Thierren, ph. ID), and 29 on L. Sherman, 
Brimfield, Hampden (1. Lynch). 

Nine Eurasian Wigeons across the Region 
included 4 in Massachusetts, 2 in Maine, 2 in 
New Hampshire, and one in Rhode Island. 
Very good counts of Ring-necked Ducks were 
1700 at Sandbar S.P, Milton, Chittenden, VT 
(S. Kellogg,]. Zepko et al.) and 1 122 in South- 
boro, Worcester, MA 31 Oct (ML). Nantucket 
Sound near Monomoy justified its fame as 
host to hordes of sea ducks with counts of 
350,000 Common Eiders, 16,750 White- 
winged Scoters, 4500 Surf Scoters, and 10,000 
unidentified scoters on a 13 Nov offshore trip 
(BBC, JT, JB, SM). Rare inland sea ducks in- 
cluded a Common Eider in Grand Isle, VT 27 
Oct (DJH) and Harlequin Ducks at Thomp- 
son’s Pt., Charlotte, Chittenden, VT 31 Oct (CP, 
TGM et al.) and on Leonard Bay, Shoreham, 
Addison, VT 29 Nov (2 birds; IW). A rare Long 
Island Sound Harlequin Duck at Milford Pt., 
New Haven, CT fell prey to a marauding Great 
Black-backed Gull 5 Nov (DV, S. Spector). 
Good inland sea duck counts on L. Champlain 
at Charlotte 6 Nov were 1400 Black Scoters 


and 278 Long-tailed Ducks (TGM et al). 

Reports of 9 Pacific Loons in the period 18 
Sep-26 Nov included migrants seen at Char- 
lotte 23 & 30 Oct, with 2 on the latter date 
(tj. Osborn, TGM et al), 4 in Massachusetts, 
and single reports from Maine and Rhode Is- 
land. New England’s first Yellow-billed Loon 
was an ad. still largely in breeding plumage 12 
km off Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland, ME 26- 
29 Oct (ph. LS, DL et al). Excellent counts of 
Pied-billed Grebes were 44 at Christina Res., 
Aroostook, ME 5 Aug (BS) and 31 at Hinds- 
dale, Cheshire, NH 27 Sep (H. Galbraith). 



This flock often Tundra Swans on the Connecticut River at the mouth of the Ompompanoosuc River in Norwich, Windsor 
County, Vermont 20 November 2010 was the smallest of three flocks that put down in the Connecticut Valley region in New 

England on that day. Photograph by Doug Hardy. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


39 




!nEW ENGLAND 



This White-tailed Tropicbird near the north end of Welker Canyon, about 1 65 kilometers 
southeast of Nantucket, Massachusetts 22 August 2010, apparently represents only the 
second state record of a White-tailed not associated with a tropical cyclone. Photograph 
by Eric Savetsky. 


This autumns Eared Grebes were one at San- 
ford W.T.P., York, ME 3-9 Aug (A. Aldrich et 
ah), one at Snipsic L., Tolland, CT 28 
Oct-Nov (C. Ekroth), and one at Bantam L., 
Litchfield, CT 2-11 Nov (D. Rosgen). A West- 
ern Grebe graced Milford Pt., 2-3 Nov (DV). 
Top Northern Eulmar counts included 194 in- 
shore at Andrews Pt., Rockport, Essex, MA 4 
Nov (RH) and 745 in the Gulf of Maine n. of 
Jeffrey’s Ledge 20 Nov during a 15-day survey 
of pelagic waters (MS). Audubon’s Shearwater 
reports included an impressive 11 at Block 
Canyon, RI 11 Sep (m.ob.) and one at 
Georges Bank 15 Sep (MS). A Black-capped 
Petrel seen at Block Canyon, Rl 11 Sep would 
be the Ocean State’s 3rd and may have been 
related to the recent passage of Hurricane Earl 
(m.ob.). A mind-blowing find was the White- 
chinned Petrel seen during a Bar Harbor 
Whale Watch 24 Aug (ph. J. McCordic), a 
first for both New England and Maine 
(<http://maineoutdoorjournal.mainetoday. 
com/blogentry.html?id=20846>) . Continuing 
a spate of annual summer sightings on or near 
the Continental Shelf edge were 2 White- 
faced Storm-Petrels at Welker Canyon 3 Aug, 
a further 3 at Oceanographer Canyon 14 & 
15 Aug (VL), and a record-shattering 22 at 
Stellwagen Bank and vicinity 28-29 Aug (ph., 
m.ob ). Band-rumped Storm-Petrel reports 
included an impressive 6 at Hydrographer 
Canyon 14-15 Aug (VL) and one at Block 
Canyon, RI 1 1 Sep (m.ob.). A storm-petrel 
photographed about 32 km off Portland, 
Ciimbcricmd, ME 12 Sep (p.a., ph. LS, DL) 
may have been Maine’s hrst Band-rumped 
Storm-Petrel. Less eciuivocal was the well- 


photographed White- 
tailed Tropicbird at 
Welker Canyon 22 Aug 
(ph. E. Savetsky), one of 
very few found in the Re- 
gion not clearly associat- 
ed with a hurricane. Both 
pelicans were reported in 
New England this au- 
tumn. Single American 
White Pelicans were seen 
at Nantucket 12-13 Sep 
(V. Calarco et al.) and at 
Fort Hill, Eastham, Barn- 
stable, MA 27 Nov (M. 
Nettles), and Brown Peli- 
cans were photographed 
at Woods Hole, Barnsta- 
ble, MA 5 Aug (RE) and 
off Stratford and Milford, 
CT 10 Aug (S. Kruit- 
bosch et ah). 

Fewer than 5 Least Bit- 
terns were reported, in- 
cluding rare local records in Bennington, VT 2 
Aug (B. Powers) and Colebrook, Coos, NH 17 
Sep (fide L. Wunder). Inland post-breeding 
Snowy Egrets were seen at D.C.W.M.A. 14 
Aug-11 Sep (TGM et al.), Colchester, Chitten- 
den, VT 15 Aug 0- Hannan), on the West R., 
Windham, VT 9 Sep (H. Breder), and far n. and 
late at Collins Pond, 

Aroostook, ME 24 Oct 
(BS). Single Little Blue 
Herons inland were at 
Cabot, Washington, VT 8- 
20 Aug (S. Carpenter et 
al.) and Sabbatus Pond, 

Androscoggin, ME 22 Aug 
(MJI). Single Tricolored 
Herons were at Scarbor- 
ough Marsh, Cumberland, 

ME 8 Sep (C. Caron et 
al.) and at Chappaquidick 
I., Dukes, MA 21 Sep (D. 

Jennings). Cattle Egrets 
typically appear as scat- 
tered single youngsters in 
late autumn in New Eng- 
land, but there was a ma- 
jor late-season push into 
the Region this season, with over 40 reported 
in all six states from mid-Oct+, including a 
high count of 14 in Norwalk, Fairfield, CT 28 
Oct (L. Flynn) and Nov birds at such far-flung 
outposts as L. Josephine, Aroostook, ME 10-11 
Nov (BS), Roque Bluffs, Washington, ME (2 
birds; Carol & Wally Muth), and at Addison, 
VT 28 Nov (IW). Yellow-crowned Night- 
Heron numbers seemed elevated, with 47 re- 
ported, including up to 4 at Biddeford Pool, 


York, ME 27 Aug-15 Sep (]. Stevens, ph. DL et 
al.), 15 at Eastham, Barnstable, MA 8 Sep (M. 
Keleher), and a late one at Scarborough Marsh 
10 Oct (DL). A Glossy Ibis at D.C.W.M.A. 6 
Sep (NB, R. Pilcher et al.) was unique inland 
this autumn. 

VULTURES THROUGH SHOREBIRDS 

Black Vultures continue to make inroads into n. 
New England, with three sightings in w. Ver- 
mont 27 Aug-11 Sep, one at Brattleboro, Wind- 
ham in the Connecticut Valley 2 Oct 0- Russo), 
and one almost as far n. as possible in New 
England at Holton, Aroostook, ME 10 Aug (ph. 
N. Dodge). A first for the Nutmeg State, only 
the 2nd for New England, and the first during 
autumn was the long-staying, much enjoyed 
White-tailed Kite at Stratford Pt., Fairfield and 
Milford Pt., New Haven, CT 1 Aug-10 Oct (DV, 
m.ob.), possibly the same individual that ap- 
peared later in the season in coastal New Jersey. 
Two pairs of Mississippi Kites completed an- 
other nesting season in New Hampshire, with a 
single fledgling at Newmarket, Rockingham 4 
Aug and sightings there through 22 Aug 
(m.ob.). Fifty Bald Eagles passed Mt. Philo, 
Chittenden, VT 10-11 Sep (TGM et al.). The 
peak Broad-winged Hawk flight of the season 
took place 18 Sep, with impressive counts of 
3328 at Pack Monadnock, Hillsborough, NH, 
4402 at Mt. Watatic, Worcester, MA (T. Pirro), 


and 5106 at Mt. Tom, Hampden, MA (T. 
Gagnon). A Gyrfalcon was a one-day wonder at 
Plum 1. 20 Nov (P Roberts). Seeing 39 Pere- 
grine Falcons on 11 Oct at Monhegan must 
have been exhilarating QT). 

It is rare for counts of elusive rails to rise 
above single digits, so a count of 30 Soras in 
wild rice near the mouth of the Connecticut R. 
1 1 Sep (HG) was amazing. A dead juv. Purple 
Gallinule was found at the Seabrook Station 



Connecticut's first and New England's second White-tailed Kite was discovered at Strat- 
ford Point, Fairfield County by Dennis Varza 1 (here 26) August 2010. The bird was ob- 
served by many through 1 0 October in the area of Stratford Point, Short Beach in 
Stratford, as well as across the mouth of the Housatonic River at Milford Point. Photo- 
graph by Bruce Finnan. 


40 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



NEW ENGLAND 



This Northern Lapwing in Storrs, Tolland County represented yet another first 
record for Connecticut in fall 2011. Found late in the day on 27 November by 
Phil Rusch, it (along with a Barnacle Goose) was enjoyed by many on 28 No- 
vember (here) before flying toward the southwest late in the afternoon. 
Photograph by Mark Szantyr. 


Power Plant, Rockingham, NH 7 Oct (ph. B. 
Coes, fide SM). Twenty-seven Common 
Moorhens were reported from all six states, 
with a high count of 8 at Missisquoi N.W.R., 
Franklin, VT 8 Aug (KC); the last was at Little 
Compton, Newport, RI 18 Nov (G. Dennis). 
American Coots occurred in good numbers 
late in the season, with local high counts of 21 
at D.C.W.M.A. 6 Nov (KC), 61 at Powow 
Pond, Kingston, Rockingham, NH 15 Nov 
(SM), 83 at Chickawaukie Pond, Rockland, 
Knox, ME (MiF), and 143 at Acoaxet, Bristol, 
MA 30 Oct (G. D’Entremont et al.). It is no 
longer a straightforward task to count Sandhill 
Cranes with accuracy during autumn migra- 
tion in New England due to local nesting pop- 
ulations and increasing numbers of migrants. 
There were reports of over 20 from five of the 
six states, with records of nesting in three 
states — Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts. 

Among several rare shorebirds this autumn, 
Connecticut’s first Northern Lapwing took top 
honors in Storrs, Tolland 27-28 Nov (P Rusch, 
m.ob.). Also with little Regional precedent was 
the Bay State’s 2nd Common Ringed Plover, a 
juv. well photographed at S. Beach 1 1 Sep (ph. 
BN). There were four reports of American Av- 
ocet: 2 were seen at the Charlestown Breach- 
way, Washington, Rl 17 Aug OStJ); apparently 
the same 2 were found 18 Aug farther w. on 
Long Island Sound at Guilford, New Haven, CT 
0- & J. Clifford); one was at the Sanford 
W.T.P, York, ME 26-29 Sep (LS, ph. R. Speirs, 
m.ob.); and one was inland and late haunting 
E. Hartford, Hartford, CT 29 Oct-1 Nov 0 - 
Mockalis et al.). Upland Sandpipers continued 
to be scarce, with reports of 25 including a 
maximum count of 12 at Pease Tradeport, 
Rockingham, NH 14 Aug (AR) and a notably 
late bird at Saugus, Essex, MA 3 Oct (S. Zendeh 
et al.). The 49 Whimbrels at Eastham, Barnsta- 
ble, MA 7 Aug was a good autumn count (BN), 
and singles turned up in the Champlain Valley 
at Charlotte 18 Aug (TGM) and at D.C.W.M.A. 
24 Aug (R. Payne, T. Pockette). Hudsonian 
Godwits peaked at a modest 68 at S. Beach 7 
Aug (m.ob.); and 2 were far inland at Dead Cr., 
Highgate, Franklin, VT 28-29 Sep (RBL, J. 
Mead), as was one at Christina Res., ME 6-10 
Oct (BS). It has been six years since the last re- 
port of Bar-tailed Godwit in New England, but 
S. Beach produced sightings on 9 (BH) & 27- 
28 Aug (ph. EG, ph. DM, ph. E. Nielsen). 
Some of the documentation on the latter bird 
strongly suggests it was the Pacific subspecies 
baueri rather than the more expected w. 
Palearctic lapponica. About 26 Marbled God- 
wits were reported in Maine (2), Connecticut 
(one), Rhode Island (2), and Massachusetts, 
with a high count of 12 at several locations in 
Chatham, Barnstable, MA 12 Sep QT). 


Impoundments at D.C.W.M.A. 
were drawn down in late sum- 
mer, producing a record-high 
count of 730 Least Sandpipers 15 
Aug (TGM). Most White- 
rumped Sandpipers migrate over 
the w. North Atlantic in autumn, 
and relatively few stop in New 
England, making a count of 343 
at Plum 1. 22 Aug very good in- 
deed (m.ob.). The season’s 37 
Baird’s Sandpipers represented an 
average total for the past 25 
years, but the tally was 20 below 
the average of the last decade; 
high counts were 6 each at 
D.C.W.M.A. 14 Aug (TGM) and 
Plum 1. 5 Sep (RH). A Sharp- 
tailed Sandpiper was seen in 
Chatham at Minimoy 2 Oct (BH) 
and photographed at S. Beach 9 
Oct (ph. DM), representing the 
4th record for the Common- 
wealth. Most autumn reports of 
Curlew Sandpiper in New England are of ads., 
so a well-documented juv. at Plum 1. 8-28 Oct 
(S. Sullivan, m.ob.) was a pleasant surprise. 
The season’s 71 Buff-breasted Sandpipers 
were well above the 25-year average of 38 but 
reflect a recent run of good years for the 
species in New England (the five-year average 
being 65). Almost all Buff-breasteds were seen 
on the immediate coast; high counts came 5 
Sep, with 11 at the Richmond, Washington, Rl 
sod farms (R. Stone) and 7 at Pease Tradeport, 
NH (SM). All 8 Wilson’s Phalaropes were seen 
in Aug in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 
Ten Red-necked Phalaropes were reported in- 
land, with 9 seen in the Champlain Valley 8 
Aug-15 Sep and one at the Rochester WT.P, 
Strafford, NH 10 Aug (D. Hubbard, m.ob.). 

GULLS THROUGH ALCfDS 

Eighty percent of 5000 Laughing Gulls dis- 
placed by Hurricane Earl to the mouth of the 
Housatonic R., CT 4 Sep were juvs. (EM). 
The 19 Little Gulls reported throughout the 
season from expected locations were the 
fewest since 2005. Reports of 13 Black-head- 
ed Gulls ranged almost throughout the sea- 
son, with 3 away from the immediate coast: 
an ad. at Grand Isle 31 Aug (DJH), an imm. 
there 4 Sep (DJH), and one on Newfound L., 
NH 6 Oct Ok)- Sabine’s Gulls bounced back 
somewhat from the 4 recorded in 2009 to 7 
this season: singles near Stellwagen Bank 27 
& 28 Aug (P. Trull, T, O’Neill), off First En- 
counter Beach, Eastham, MA 4 Sep after Hur- 
ricane Earl (BN), and juvs. at W. Quoddy 
Head, Washington, ME 5 Sep 0 - Mays), Grand 
Isle, VT 9 Sep (DJH), and at Jeffrey’s Ledge, 


MA 13 Sep QB et ak); one at Newfound L, 
NH 5-6 Oct QL) was seen distantly. The huge 
increase in Lesser Black-backed Gull remains 
largely a coastal phenomenon, with a stunning 
new Regional high count of 327 at Nantucket 
26 Nov (ER). Vermont has fewer than 10 
records of the species since the mid-1970s, so 
one at Burlington, Chittenden 10 Nov+ was a 
good find (TGM, m.ob.). The only inland 
Black-legged Kittiwake this autumn was a 
juv. at Shelburne Pond, Chittenden, VT 9-11 
Nov (BM, TGM, m.ob.). 

Common Terns numbered 3000 at the 
mouth of the Housatonic R., CT 4 Sep (EM), 
after numbering in the hundreds in the days 
preceding Earl. Two of the 3 Gull-billed Terns 
reported were seen 13 Sep, after the passage of 
Earl: at Pine Pt., Scarborough, Cumberland, 
ME (DH) and at the s. end of Plum 1. 14-22 
Sep (S. Sullivan, m.ob.); however, one pho- 
tographed at S. Beach 26 Aug (ph. EG) pre- 
ceded the hurricane. As with Sandhill Crane, 
an increasing nesting population complicates 
the counting of Caspian Terns in the Region. 
The high count at Grand Isle, near nesting 
colonies on L. Champlain, was 24 on 17 Aug 
(DJH); and the maximum count among a bet- 
ter-than-average total of 70 coastal migrants 
was of 14 in Rockingham, NH 12 Sep (SM et 
al.). Black Terns displaced by Hurricane Earl 
numbered 680 at Tuckernuck 1. and Nantuck- 
et 3 Sep (R. Veit, VL). Two Roseate Terns were 
notably late 12 Oct at Provincetown, Barnsta- 
ble, MA (BN). Numbers of migrating Arctic 
Terns in the pelagic zone are seldom detected, 
let alone reported, so a count of 42 from 
Georges Bank 15 Sep was welcome (MS); it is 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


41 


NEW ENGLAND 



Discovered on the seventh annual South-coastal Maine Rarity Roundup by John Berry and Phil MacCormack, the state's sec- 
ond or third Gray Kingbird obligingly remained in an Ogunquit, York County neighborhood 31 October (here) through 6 No- 
vember 201 0. Photograph by Derek Lovitch. 


possible these birds had been displaced by the 
hurricane. After the passage of Earl offshore on 
3 Sep, Maine had much higher- than-average 
counts of Forster’s Terns, including an impres- 
sive 23 at Biddeford, York 9 Sep (DL). Another 
was inland at Bantam L., Litchheld, CT 17 Sep 
(GH), Five Royal Terns were noted after Earl. 
with one n. to Hampton, Rockingham. NH 12 
Sep (SM et ah), and Sandwich Tern reports in- 
cluded one before Earl at North Beach, Or- 
leans, Barnstable. MA 28 Aug (C. Goodrich), 2 
on Nantucket 6 Sep (ph. VL et ah), and one at 
Ninigret Pond, Washington. R1 7 Sep (R. 
Miller). Impressive numbers of Black Skim- 
mers n. of Boston followed the hurricane as 
well. Over 13 in Maine included a high count 
of 8 at the Little R. in York 12 Sep (C. Rimmer) 
and one far Down East at Mount Desert I., 
Hancock 7 Sep (W. Townsend); and 8-9 were in 
New Hampshire, with one lingering through 
30 Oct at Hampton Beach (m.ob.). At the s. 
end of Plum 1. in Sep/Oct, the skimmer flock 
numbered 16 as late as 2 Oct (TW, m.ob.). 
Regular pelagic surveying in the Gulf of Maine, 
in particular along Georges Bank, is revising 
our sense of skua distribution far offshore. 
Mike Sylvia recorded a whopping 11 Great 
Skuas and 16 South Polar Skuas on Georges 
Bank 11-15 Sep. All three jaegers were report- 
ed at Charlotte this autumn, with up to 3 Po- 
marines seen 22 Oct-6 Nov (TGM, DJH et ah), 
3 Parasitics both 7 Sep and 8 Oct (RBL, DJH), 
and 2 Long-taileds on both 7 Sep (RBL) and 16 
Oct (TGM). Coastal Long- tailed jaegers num- 


42 


bered 6, with an exceptional inner Cape Cod 
Bay sighting at Manomet, Plymouth. MA 24 
Aug (ID). An excellent early Dovekie flight of 
745 was tallied at Head of the Meadow Beach, 
Truro, Ba?mstable, MA 14 Nov (BN). Another 
big alcid flight on the Outer Cape recorded an 
exciting 8000 large alcids at Boat Meadow 
Beach, Eastham 24 Nov (BN), too far out for 
confident identification but almost certainly 
dominated by Razorbills. 

DOVES THROUGH WOODPECKERS 

A Eurasian Collared-Dove appeared 6 Nov at 
the same Norwich, Windsor. VT feeder as last 
year but did not linger (J. & D. Dunn). Com- 
mon Nighthawk counts topped out at about 
150 in Vermont and New Hampshire and only 
400-500 in Massachusetts this autumn, with 
best flights noted on 21, 27, & 31 Aug and 1 
Sep. A tally of 50-r in Scituate, Plymouth, MA 
20 Sep was high for such a late date (m.ob.). 
The best count of Chimney Swifts (400) came 
from Westborough, Worcester. MA 7 Sep (S. 
Arena), and the last was seen at Cumberland 
Earms 23 Oct (MJl). Eorty-eight Ruby-throat- 
ed Hummingbirds were banded in a Deerfield, 
Franklin, MA yard 7 Aug (B. Benner, A. Hill), 
one of these a returning bird. Two Rufous 
Hummingbirds were banded in Connecticut: 
an ad. female in Sterling, Windsor 11 Oct-r (R. 
Dixon) and another in Niantic, New London 
through the season. Unidentified humming- 
birds, either Rufous or Allen’s, appeared at 
three additional Nutmeg State locations and 


at Worcester, Worcester, MA in Oct and at 
Westerly, Washington, R1 30 Oct-3 Nov (H. 
Moore). A yard in Siasconset, Nantucket, MA 
that hosted a Black-chinned Hummingbird in 
early Nov 2007 attracted another this season 
on 3 (K. Blackshaw) & 11 Nov (ER). The Re- 
gional tally of Red-headed Woodpeckers was 
10, well distributed along the coast from 
Maine (2) through Massachusetts (one), 
Rhode Island (one), and Connecticut (6). Mi- 
grant woodpeckers were on the move 21 Sep 
at Cousin’s L, with record counts of 77 Yel- 
low-bellied Sapsuckers and 1092 Northern 
Elickers (DL et ah). 

FLYCATCHERS THROUGH WRENS 

Late Eastern Wood-Pewees were noted 10 Oct 
at Marblehead Neck W.S., Essex, MA (R. 
Schain et al.) and 11 Oct on Monhegan Q- 
Mays). An Eastern Kingbird was a bit later in 
Framingham, Middlesex, MA 17 Oct (K. 
Cronin). The season again featured a diversi- 
ty of vagrant flycatchers. A Say’s Phoebe was 
nearly in New Brunswick at West Quoddy 
Head S.P., ME 17 Sep (E Pierce), and an 
unidentified Myiarchus was at Third Beach, 
Middletown, Newport, RI 30 Nov (D. Wad- 
low). Calls made by a yellow-bellied kingbird 
well photographed in Falmouth, Barnstable, 
MA 30 Aug-1 Nov (B. Porter, P Trimble et al.) 
led some observers to identify it as a Tropical 
Kingbird, but some observers identified it 
only as Tropical/Couch’s. A minimum of 15 
Western Kingbirds reached the Region, in- 
cluding 3 well inland in Maine at Fryeburg, 
Oxford 24 Sep (B. Crowley et al.), 
Unity/Thorndike, Waldo 3 Oct (T. Aversa), 
and Benton, Kennebec 18 Oct (ph. R. Speirs). 
A Gray Kingbird was discovered on the an- 
nual Maine Rarity Roundup event in Ogun- 
quit, York 31 Oct and remained until 6 Nov 
(John Berry, R MacCormack, ph. DL, ph. DH 
et al.). Rounding out the show were single 
Scissor-tailed Flycatchers at Plum 1. Jul-18 
Sep (ph. B. deCraf, ph. P. Brown, m.ob.), at 
Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard 27 Oct (ph. J. 
Verner), and at Old Lyme, New London, CT 6 
Nov (ph. H. Golet). Three photogenic Fork- 
tailed Flycatchers also appeared this season: 
at Belfast, Waldo, ME 22 Sep (M.A.R.B.A.), at 
Cove Island Park, Stamford, Faiifax 17 Nov-i- 
(Connecticut’s 3rd; T. Green, m.ob.), and at 
Nantucket’s landfill 30 Nov (VL et al.). The 
tardiest of several late-season White-eyed 
Vireos was one in Narragansett, Washington, 
Rl 21 Nov (P. EEtoile). A Bell’s Vireo in Na- 
hant, Essex 17-18 Oct (B. Tucker et al.) was 
the first in the Bay State since 2006. Four Fish 
Crows were regular at Vermont’s only location 
for the species in Burlington, Chittenden 
through the season (TGM et al.), while 140 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


NEW ENGLAND 



This Townsend's Warbler, found along the Connecticut River in Westmoreland, Cheshire County, New Hampshire 7 November 
2010, attracted birders from across New England until at least 16 (here 14) November. Photograph by Peter A. Manship. 


migrants were tallied over Norwalk, Fairfax, 
CT 15 Oct (FM). 

A martin photographed at Great Meadows 
N.W.R., Concord, Middlesex, MA 19-22 Oct 
(JT et al.) was not a Purple, but field identifi- 
cation of Progne martins is a minefield. Upon 
examining the photographs, Dan Lane of 
Louisiana State University “narrowed” the list 
of potential candidates to four species: Gray- 
breasted, Cuban, Sinaloa, or Caribbean. The 
roost of Tree Swallows in Phragmites beds 
near the mouth of the Connecticut R. in Old 
Lyme was again estimated to contain 400,000 
birds in the 3rd week of Aug (A. Griswold). A 
late brood of 3 Cliff Swallows fledged in 
Grand Isle, VT 26 Aug and departed four days 
later (DJH). Six Bank Swallows were identi- 
fied at Cumberland Farms 23 Oct (MJl et ah), 
and 2 Cliff Swallows were there 27 Oct (JPS et 
al), all presumably reversed migrants. The 
first definitively identified vanguards of this 
season’s Cave Swallow invasion appeared af- 
ter prolonged southwesterly air flow at scat- 
tered locations from Casco Bay, off Portland, 
Cumberland, ME to Fairfield, CT 29-31 Oct. 
Connecticut’s highest counts came as usual 
from Lighthouse Pt. on 31 Oct (S. Mayo), 
while the remaining coastal states did not 
achieve their highest tallies until the major in- 
flux 24 Nov. Four were recorded in Maine 
that day, along with 6-8 in New Hampshire, 
high counts of 17 in S. Boston (S. Williams) 
and 40+ in Chatham, MA (ph. BN), and about 
23 between three Rhode Island locations. 
Photographs of the Chatham birds showing 
flight feather molt indicated the birds were 
young of the year, as has been the case with 
previous flights; 20 were found dead in 
Chatham over the next two days, as tempera- 
tures remained well below 50° E Two Boreal 
Chickadees turned up in the Bay State, the 
first wintering in Squantum, Norfolk 6 Nov+ 
(R. Donovan, m.ob.), the other seen at Moran 
W.M.A., Windsor, Berkshire 29 Nov Q- Han- 
son). Red-breasted Nuthatches were on the 
move in numbers, with a high count of 64 in 
the ne. Quabbin, MA area 29 Aug (ML et al.) 
and coastal flights of 80 on Block I. 9 Oct (D. 
Finizia) and 160 at Bluff Pt. the same day (A. 
Griswold) and 77 on Monhegan 10 Nov (JT). 
Early Oct also saw large numbers of Brown 
Creepers on the move in coastal Maine, with 
tallies of 25 on Monhegan 4 Oct (LS) and 50 
on Hermit I., Phippsburg, Sagadahoc 10 Oct 
(R. Robinson). More than the usual number 
of Sedge Wrens were located 23 Sep-14 Nov, 
including 2 in Rutland, VT, one in Vermont’s 
Northeast Kingdom at Victory, Essex 8 Oct 
(tR. Pilcher), and singles at S. Dartmouth, 
Bristol, MA, Westborough, Worcester, MA, 
and Hamden, New Haven, CT. 


KINGLETS THROUGH WARBLERS 

A major movement of kinglets was noted on 
Hermit I., Phippsburg, ME 17 Oct, with 
counts of 200 Golden-crowned and 175 
Ruby-crowned (RR, MiF); a smaller number 
of Ruby-crowneds (49) was on the move to 
the s. in Westport, Bristol, MA the same day 
(ML et al.). The season’s lone Northern 
Wheatear stopped in Wilton, Fairfield, CT 23 
Sep (M. Warner et al). Hermit I., ME was also 
the site of a significant movement of 250 Her- 
mit Thrushes 17 Oct (RR, MiF). The now 
well-known Methuen, Essex, MA robin and 
blackbird roost was estimated to harbor 
10,000+ American Robins 31 Oct (D. Larson 
et al.). The season’s only Varied Thrush met 
an untimely end along a roadside in Paw- 
catuck. New London, CT about 13 Nov (H. 
Beyer, ph. L. Bolduc, /ide R. Dewire). This au- 
tumn saw the vanguard of a major Bohemian 
Waxwing irruption in New England. They ar- 
rived in good numbers early, with 56 at 
Collins Pond, Aroostook, ME 24 Oct (BS) and 
45 in Montpelier, Washington, VT 25 Oct (L. 
Clarfield, CD) soon followed by 100 in Berlin, 
Coos, NH 2 Nov (K. Dube); one reached East- 
ham, MA by 6 Nov (A. Curts). 

Warbler fallouts this autumn were noted 
on several dates at different locations. Early 
season migrants were at Cousin’s 1., ME 21 
Aug, with 69 Yellow Warblers and 23 1 Amer- 
ican Redstarts tallied (DL et al.). Observers at 
Bluff Pt., CT counted 2000+ warblers of 19 
species, including over 500 redstarts 27 Aug 
(D. Provencher et al.); the next big flight 


there was 11 Sep, with 85% of over 1000 war- 
blers again being redstarts (G. Williams et 
al). Northern Parulas led the migrant tally at 
Cousin’s I. 18 Sep, when 132 were tallied (DL 
et al). Another 1000-migrant day (600 of 
them warblers) at Bluff Pt. 21 Sep coincided 
with another big flight at Cousin’s I., high- 
lighted by 71 Black-throated Green and 186 
Blackpoll Warblers (DL et al). This flight at 
Cousin’s I. also included 11 Tennessee War- 
blers, now a good high count for this former- 
ly more common migrant. Northern Parulas 
were still moving in numbers on Block I. 2 
Oct, when over 100 easily outnumbered 16 
other warbler species recorded (D. Finizia, S. 
Talbot). Another fallout noted at Block I. 8 
Oct featured about 1000 Yellow-rumped, 19 
Black-throated Blue, and 39 Palm Warblers 
(DE ST). The Region recorded single Golden- 
winged Warblers in Connecticut and Ver- 
mont and 2 in Massachusetts. The now-scarce 
Cape May and Bay-breasted Warblers showed 
little improvement in numbers across the Re- 
gion, while the now more commonly detect- 
ed Orange-crowned Warbler was reported 
from every state, with 3 from Vermont, 8 in 
New Hampshire, about 13 in Maine, includ- 
ing 4 on Monhegan 29 Oct QT et al), 8 in 
Rhode Island, about 6 in Connecticut, and an 
impressive 43 or so in Massachusetts. An 
imm. Cerulean Warbler at Quabbin, MA 28 
Aug (ML et al.) was presumably a late local 
bird. A Prothonotary Warbler was pho- 
tographed at sea over Stellwagen Bank 18 Aug 
(O. O’Brien), and singles were banded in the 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


43 


NEW ENGLAND 


Bay State on Tuckernuck I. 5 Sep (RV) and in 
Brewster 7 Oct (SF); Connecticut reported 
one. The first of Massachusetts’ 17+ Con- 
necticut Warhlers was in Northampton, 
Hampshire 29 Aug (B. Zaida), bested by an 
even earlier bird in Crawford Notch S.P., Car- 
roll, NH 21 Aug (D. Provencher). Four others 
in the Granite State and 2 in Vermont were on 
usual Sep-early Oct dates. A Flooded Warbler 
at Little Round Top, Bristol, Grafton, NH 19 
Sep (S. Fogelman) was well n. of expected 
haunts; 8 were reported in Massachusetts; 
and a female lingered at the Seabrook W.T.P., 
NH 27 Nov-mid-Dec (SM, m.ob.). Other no- 
tably tardy warblers included a Tennessee 
Warbler in Manchester, Hillsborough, NH 21- 
23 Nov (MJl, SM) and another in Boston 28 
Nov-2 Dec (M. Kaufman et ah); a Yellow 
Warbler on the beach in Biddeford, ME 28 
Nov (ph. DL et ah); a Magnolia Warbler in 
Montpelier, VT 15 Nov (CD) and another at 
N. Hampton, NH 28 Nov (SM); a Prairie War- 
bler at Chickawuakee L., Knox, ME 9 Nov (D. 
Reimer); and a male Wilsons Warbler at New 
Castle, Rockingham, NH 28 Nov (ph. SM). 
The usual sprinkling of vagrants enlivened 
the season as well, with single Black-throated 
Gray Warblers at Gay Head, Martha’s Vine- 
yard, MA 11 Sep (E Harrington, ph. L. Mc- 
Dowell) and Winchester, Middlesex, MA 27 
Sep (T. Pirro). A Townsend’s Warbler in the 
Connecticut Valley in Westmoreland, 
Cheshire, NH 7-16 Nov (K. Klapper, m.ob.) 
was about the 5th for the Granite State. Yel- 
low-throated Warblers appeared on Mon- 
hegan 27-29 Sep (EH et ah, ph DH, ph. DL, 
m.ob.), at Hadley, Hampshire, MA 19 Oct (P. 
Yeskie), on Morris L, Chatham 26 Nov QT), 
and in Glastonbury, Hartford, CT 11 Sep (B. 
Asteriades). Banders in Brewster were startled 
to find Massachusetts’ 4th Swainson’s War- 
bler in their nets 6 Sep (ph. S. Finnegan); the 
bird obligingly remained in the area until 10 
Sep, revealing itself to a few other birders. 
Massachusetts banders also captured a Ken- 
tucky Warbler on Plum 1. 28 Aug (B. Flemer), 
while others were seen at Athol, Worcester 19 
Sep (C. Coyle) and at Provincetown 21 Oct 
(T. Lipsky). 

SPARROWS THROUGH FINCHES 

It was another banner year for Clay-colored 
Sparrows in the Region, with over 34 in Mas- 
sachusetts, 15 in Connecticut, about 12 in 
Maine (including up to 3 on Monhegan), 8+ 
in Rhode Island (half on Block L), and 3 in 
coastal New Hampshire, plus a singing indi- 
vidual inland at Concord 10 Sep (AR). Less- 
common vagrants were also well represented. 
Three Lark Sparrows appeared on Maine’s 
coastal islands on single dates spanning 18 


Aug-27 Sep, and another was on the mainland 
at Cape Elizabeth 26 Oct (S. Walsh). Massa- 
chusetts led the Region with 9 Lark Sparrows, 
including a lingering ad. at Salisbury 31 Oct 
(M. Goetschkes et ah), while Connecticut and 
Rhode Island contributed 2 each to the sea- 
sonal tally, including a long-staying individual 
in Narragansett, Washington 13 Oct-30 Nov 
(L. Gardrel et al). The season’s lone Lark 
Bunting strayed to Monhegan 14-15 Sep (B. 
Pfeiffer, EH et ah). A Henslow’s Sparrow at 
Allen’s Pond, Dartmouth, Bristol, MA 16 Nov 
(PC et al.) was the only one of the season and 
was outnumbered by other Ammodramus. Five 
Le Conte’s Sparrows included singles at Great 
Meadows N.W.R., MA 16 Oct (RS), Tiverton, 
Newport, RI 18 Oct QStJ), and Squantum, MA 
11 Nov (C. Floyd, ph. JT), plus long-staying 
individuals at Cape Elizabeth, ME 24 Oct-7 
Nov (L. Brinker, m.ob.) and Milford Pt., CT 
29 Oct-14 Nov (T. Sayers, m.ob.). Out-of- 
place Nelson’s Sparrows were found at Po- 
mainville W.M.A., Pittsford, Rutland, VT 30 
Sep (R. Pilcher et ah), 9-10 Oct (CP, TGM et 
al), and 16 Oct (BM et al); an Acadian Nel- 
son’s Sparrow was unexpected inland at a 
Hartford, CT landhll 8 Oct (P. Cianfaglione). 
Three Harris’s Sparrows appeared along the 
Massachusetts coast at Halifax, Plymouth 6 
Nov (ph. J. Sweeney, ph. H. Levesque), 
Duxbury Beach 21 Nov (ph. R. Bowes), and 
Wellfleet 27 Nov (A. Hight, fide MaF). New 
Hampshire’s 2nd Golden-crowned Sparrow 
frequented a Derry, Rockingham feeding sta- 
tion 17-19 Oct (B. Horton, ph. SM, m.ob.). 

A record-breaking 9 Summer Tanagers 
were encountered by the Region’s birders, all 
on the immediate coast, including one at 
Cousin’s L, ME 28 Aug (DL, J. Scott), one on 
Block 1. 2 Oct OStJ et al), 2 on Monhegan 11 
Oct (JT), and 5 in Massachusetts 2-25 Oct. 
Two Western Tanagers also appeared, the first 
in Marshfield, Plymouth, MA 24 Sep Q- Gal- 
luzzo et al.), the other on Nantucket 8 Oct 
(ER). The latest of several tardy Rose-breast- 
ed Grosbeaks were singles at Arlington, Mid- 
dlesex, MA 25 Nov (fide RS) and at Littleton, 
MA 30 Nov (G. Marley). Over 40 Blue Gros- 
beaks made the highest autumn total since 
1998. With so many lurking in the Region, 
Vermont birders were able to document about 
their 6th state record, with 2 in Vernon, Wind- 
ham 16-20 Oct (ph. D. Johnston, m.ob.); the 
others were in Massachusetts (22), Maine (7), 
Connecticut (5), Rhode Island (4), and New 
Hampshire (one). Banders at Great Duck L, 
Hancock, ME captured a Painted Bunting 22 
Sep (E. Dittmar, D. Grunzel), and one ap- 
peared briefly in Westport, MA 2 Oct (PC). It 
was also a good season for Dickcissel, with 
about 90 distributed along the coast from 


Maine (17+), New Hampshire (10), Massa- 
chusetts (39+), Rhode Island (10), and Con- 
necticut (25). Strong movements of 
Bobolinks were noted at Lighthouse Pt., with 
2300 on 6 Sep and 1175 on 10 Sep (fide GH). 
The high count for the much-less-conspicu- 
ous Eastern Meadowlark was only 28 in Ad- 
dison, VT 24 Sep (1. Worley). An above-aver- 
age total of 6 Yellow-headed Blackbirds in- 
cluded 2 in Maine, with one well inland in 
Aroostook 3 Sep (BS), 3 in Massachusetts, and 
one in Connecticut. Yet another star of the 
season in Maine was the Region’s first 
Bronzed Cowbird, frequenting a Rockland, 
Knox feeder 24-28 Oct (R. P Moore; ph. P. 
Vickery, ph. L. Medlock, m.ob.). 

The finch flight this season was mixed. A 
few Pine Grosbeaks showed up in Aroostook, 
ME (BS), and a handful of Red and White- 
winged Crossbills reached as far s. as Rhode 
Island. Decent numbers of Purple Finches 
were on the move in the four n. states, with 
maximum counts of 54 in Bolton Flats, MA 3 
Oct (ML et al.) and 82 on Monhegan 10 Oct 
(]T). The first Common Redpolls appeared 23 
Oct in New Hampshire and 3 Nov in coastal 
Maine, heralding others’ arrival later in Nov 
and through the winter. It was the best 
Evening Grosbeak year in recent memory, 
with numerous reports, including a maximum 
of 60 in S. Starksboro, Addison, VT 26 Nov (H. 
Trombley) and multiple records from Massa- 
chusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. 

Observers (subregional editors in boldface 
and contributors in italics): Audubon Society 
of New Hampshire, Jim Beny, Bird Observer 
(journal), Brookline Bird Club, Nancy Brown, 
Paul Champlin, Ken Copenhaver, Chip 
Darmstadt, Ian Davies, Mike Fahay (MiF), 
Mark Faherty (MaF), Rachel Farrell, Dan 
Finizia, Sue Finnegan, Hank Golet, Francois 
Grenon, Greg Hanisek, Brian Harrington, 
Rick Heil, Doug Hitchcox, David J. Hoag, Eric 
Hynes, Marshall J. Iliff, Jason Lambert, Ver- 
non Laux, Richard B. Lavallee, Derek Lovitch, 
Mark Lynch, Bruce MacPherson, Maine 
Audubon Rare Bird Alert (M.A.R.B.A.), Frank 
Mantlik, Steve Mirick, Daniel Mitev, Ted G. 
Murin, Blair Nikula, Craig Provost, Edie Ray, 
Marj Rines, Andrea Robbins, Robin Robin- 
son, Luke Seitz, Bill Sheehan, Jean St. Jean, 
Robert Stymeist, Mark Suomala, Mike Sylvia, 
Sue Talbot, Jeremiah Trimble, Vermont Cen- 
ter for Ecostudies, Dennis Varza, Tom Wet- 
more, Ian Worley. © 


Walter G. Ellison 
Nancy L. Martin 

23460 Clarissa Road, Chestertown, Maryland 21620 
(rossgull@baybroadband.net) 


44 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


Hudson-Delaware 



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ATLANTIC 

OCEAN 


Richard R. Veit 
Robert 0. Paxton 
Frank Rohrbacher 


A ccording to Cornell University’s North- 
east Regional Climate Center, the 
months of August, September, and Oc- 
tober averaged warmer than in 2009, continu- 
ing a trend from midwinter, but November 
was significantly cooler than average, fore- 
telling another old-fashioned winter in the 
works. Early autumn precipitation was mostly 
near long-term averages, higher in August, 
lower in September, but October was very 
rainy (200% of average in New York), and No- 
vember a bit below normal. There were no 
bird records obviously associated with the off- 
shore passage of Hurricane Earl in early Sep- 
tember, and no other tropical cyclones had an 
effect on the Region’s weather. 

Birdwise, the autumn of 2010 was among 
the most remarkable in recent memory. Al- 
though relatively few meteorological records 
were broken, and even fewer bird records, the 
sheer diversity of western/southern species 
that appeared in fall 2010 was on par with the 
best of autumns past. White-tailed Kite, 
Lewis’s Woodpecker, Gray Kingbird, Lark 
Bunting, two Brown Boobies, and two Com- 
mon Ground-Doves led the list, in addition to 
a great array of sparrows, notably in huge 
coastal fallouts on the 29-30 October week- 
end, a spectacle witnessed by hundreds of 
birders. Hermit Thrushes in the many thou- 
sands were also part of that fallout (see the 
S.A. feature, below). Winter hnches irrupted 
in modest numbers, and Red-breasted 
Nuthatches and Black-capped Chickadees did 
so in immodest numbers, along with a few 
Boreal Chickadees, one of which reached the 
coast. Excellent coverage of Delaware netted 
several excellent finds, including the state’s 
first Barnacle Goose, third Band-rumped 
Storm-Petrel, and third Swainson’s Hawk. 


Abbreviations: Avalon (Avalon Seawatch, 
Avalon, Cape May, NJ); Bombay Hook (Bom- 
bay Hook N.W.R., DE); Brigantine (Eorsyth 
N.W.R., Atlantic, NJ); Cape May (most 
records from sites s. of the Cape May Canal, 
Cape May, NJ, unless otherwise noted); Der- 
by Hill (Derby Hill Hawkwatch, Oswego, NY); 
Jamaica Bay Bay Wildlife Refuge, 

Gateway National Park, New York City); 
Jones Beach Qones Beach S.P., Nassau, NY); 
Montauk (Montauk Pt., Suffolk, NY); Sandy 
Hook (Sandy Hook Unit/Gateway National 
Recreation Area, Monmouth, NJ). 

WATERFOWL THROUGH STORK 

Pour Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks contin- 
ued at Cape May until 19 Sep (Matt Webster, 
Amy Rigazio), and another was at Broadkill 
Beach Rd., Sussex, DE 13-16 Aug (BGP, ES, 
KS, CB). Among about 20 Greater White- 
fronted Geese this season were 4-3 in Mer- 
cerAVairen, NJ 16 Oct-21 Nov (S. J. A. Walk- 
er, Ray Duffy, TV), 7 on Long 1. (HM et al), 
one at Bombay Hook 22-30 Nov (Dirk Robin- 
son), and 8-9 at Iroquois N.W.R., Genesee! Or- 
leans 7-13 Nov (CN, CM). Pour early Snow 
Geese were at Bombay Hook 22 Sep (M. 
Bowen); 30 were at Broadkill Beach 25 Sep 
(Frank Marenghi); and 17,500 were recorded 


Hook 21-29 Nov (Joe Sebastian!, m.ob.) was 
the first to be confirmed for Delaware. A Bar- 
nacle Goose at Pelham Bay Park, Bronx, NY 
26-27 Nov (KM, Shari Zirlin, Jack Rothmann) 
had been banded in Scotland as a juv. in 2002 
and was observed in Scotland tbrougb 2005; 
another was at Belmont Lake S.P, Suffolk, NY 
24 Oct (AGi, JL). About 50 Cackling Geese 
Region-wide included 22 in the Niagara area, 
7 in coastal New York, and 11 in New Jersey 
29 Oct-17 Nov (TR et al). Eight Trumpeter 
Swans were in Bernardsville, Somerset, NJ 
through the season (J. Pescatore). 

A Eurasian Wigeon x American Wigeon 
hybrid was studied at Brigantine 8 Oct (V 
Nichnadowicz). Four Eurasian Wigeons were 
in New Jersey, 4 more in coastal New York, 
and one was inland at Wilson Hill W.M.A., St. 
Lawrence, NY 25 Sep-30 Oct OSB). Ten thou- 
sand Black Ducks were at Brigantine 8 Oct 
(Mike Wilson). Al Bombay Hook, 140 Blue- 
winged Teal were counted 17 Aug (DAS); 100 
were at Jamaica Bay 11 Sep (KM). Twelve 
thousand Northern Pintails and 12,767 
Green-winged Teal were counted al Brigan- 
tine 28 Oct (MHa). Five female King Eiders 
were off Sandy Hook 26 Nov (Ryan Schain, 
SAB), singles were at Barnegat Light 28 Nov 
(Susan Killeen) and at Cape May through the 


in Cumberland, NJ 27 Nov Qanet Crawford, 
Dave Lord). A rare blue-morph Ross’s Goose 
was at Lewes, Sussex, DE 7 Nov (FDR), and 2 
white morphs were at Brigantine 22-23 Nov 
(TR, CJV). A Barnacle Goose at Bombay 


fall (VE et al.), and 2 males were at Montauk 
21 Nov (SSM, PJL). In Delaware, 2 summer- 
ing Common Eiders at Cape Henlopen con- 
tinued through Aug (BGP, FR), and 10 others 
were seen in the area in Oct-Nov (FDR, CB ct 



A scarce visitor to upstate New York, this Eared Grebe was photographed on the western branch of Keuka Lake near Branch- 
port 15 September 2010. Photograph by EdwardJ. Norman. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


45 



HUDSON-DELAWARE 


1 



Extremely rare anywhere north of Florida in the East, this White-tailed Kite spent nearly a month near Barnegat, New Jersey — from 21 October through 12 (here 7) November 2010. Photo- 
graphs by Howard B. Eskin (left) and Edward J. Norman. 


al.). Common Eiders numbered 250 at 
Barnegat Inlet 12 Nov (Michael Newlon), and 
groups of 20-30 were seen along the New Jer- 
sey coast through Nov (Steve Kolbe, SAB). 
The maximum count of Harlequin Ducks at 
Barnegat Inlet was 25 on 20 Nov (Timothy 
Schreckengost); 4 flybys were recorded at 
Avalon (Steve Kolbe, DG); and 2 were at Cape 
Henlopen S.E, Sussex, DE 3 Nov (FDR). Ten 
were tallied on Long 1. through the end of 
Nov. A high count of 26,795 Surf Scoters was 
made at Avalon 24 Oct (SK), and the season 
total there of 160,000 was above the long- 
term mean of 140,000 (New Jersey 
Audubon). Black Scoters were also above 
mean abundance at Avalon, with 180,000 for 
the season and 16,998 on 3 Nov (DG). Some 
424 White-winged Scoters flew past Avalon 
29 Nov (SK), but 2754 for the season there 
was below average. At least 15,000 White- 
wingeds off Northport, Suffolk, NY 16 Nov 
(M. L. Lamont) made an extraordinarily high 
count. Two hundred fifty Hooded Mergansers 
were counted at Brigantine 22 Nov (Matt 
Webster), and 1300 Common Mergansers 
were on Oradell Res., Bergen, NJ 26 Nov (]. 
Workman). At Jamaica Bay, about 1000 Rud- 
dy Ducks were seen 20 Nov (HE); 552 were 
on L. Como, Monmouth, NJ 27 Nov (SAB). 

The Red-throated Loon season total at 
Avalon of 60,000 was, as last year, a bit above 
average, which is encouraging, as Red-throat- 
eds have declined recently, mainly due to gill- 
net mortality. Up to 2 Eared Grebes were at 
Batavia W.T.P., Genesee, NY until 4 Sep (MM). 
Six Cory’s Shearwaters were seen on a pelagic 
trip out of Lewes, DE 15 Aug, and 7 were not- 
ed on another Lewes trip 20 Aug (PAG et al); 
9 were at Wilmington Canyon 15 Aug (MEr); 
and 7 were seen from Long I. 11 Sep-5 Oct 
(AnW, SSM el al.). The same Delaware trips 
recorded 15 and 5 Great Shearwaters, respec- 


tively, and 28 Greats were at Wilmington 
Canyon 15 Aug (MEr). Eorty Great Shearwa- 
ters were on a trip from Cape May off 
Delaware 23 Nov (MO’B). The only Manx 
Shearwater reported was a single from Robert 
Moses S.R 18 Sep (SA). Six Audubon’s Shear- 
waters were seen out of Lewes 15 Aug and an- 
other on 20 Aug (PAG et al.). The largest 
group of Wilson’s Storm-Petrels was 685 off 
Lewes 20 Aug (PAG et al.). A Leach’s Storm- 
Petrel was off Lewes on 20 Aug (PAG et al.), 
and 4 were at Wilmington Canyon 15 Aug 
(MEr, SAB et al.). A storm-petrel seen flying 
around the Cape Henlopen hawkwatch 11 
Nov, including over land, appeared to be a 
Leach’s (FDR et al). Three Band-rumped 
Storm-Petrels were near Wilmington Canyon 
15 Aug (SAB, MEr), and 3 were seen on the 
pelagic trip from Lewes 20 Aug (PAG et al), 
furnishing a 3rd Delaware record. 

A Brown Booby passed the Avalon sea- 
watch 29 Sep (DG); another was picked by a 
rehabilitator in Lynnbrook, Nassau, NY 1 Oct 
(fide SA). The Avalon season total of North- 
ern Gannets (85,570) was below last year’s 
total but nevertheless well above average; 
9717 were counted there 21 Nov (DG), and 
2000 were at Robert Moses S.R 30 Oct (SSM, 
Brent Bonkamp). Two American White Peli- 
cans were at Cape May 3 Oct (KL, MO’B), 
one appeared at Bombay Hook 30 Nov 
(refuge sta®, and another remained at Ja- 
maica Bay until 27 Sep (AB). Ninety-four 
Brown Pelicans passed Avalon 29 Sep (DG), 
and their season total of 369 was also above 
average. A second-year Magnificent Frigate- 
bird was at Oceanside, Nassau, NY 26 Oct 
(Mike Farina). Some 16,452 Double-crested 
Cormorants passed Avalon 13 Oct (DG); the 
2010 total of 194,054 was just above last 
year’s count. A subad. Wood Stork delighted 
observers at the Cape Henlopen Hawkwatch 


15 Sep (FDR et al.); almost certainly the same 
bird was at Cape May the same day (DG, KL, 
Warren Cairo). 

HERONS THROUGH RAPTORS 

Michael O’Brien counted 250 Black-crowned 
Night-Herons and 45 American Bitterns fly- 
ing in to roost 12 Oct at Cape May, where sim- 
ilar counts have been made before. A Least 
Bittern at Brigantine 22 Nov (CJV) was un- 
usually late. High counts of the commoner 
herons included 500 Great Blues at Cape May 
5 Oct (DG); 170 Great Egrets at Bombay 
Hook 17 Aug (DAS) and 598 Greats at Brig- 
antine 12 Aug (BPu); 1075 Snowy Egrets at 
Brigantine 12 Aug (BPu); and 24 Little Blue 
Herons at Great Egg Harbor 26 Aug (Dave 
Lord). Twelve Tricolored Herons were in 
Delaware in mid-Aug (CB, Mike Moore, Greg 
Butcher), and 16 were at Nummy 1., Cape 
May 27 Sep (Seth Kellogg, Janice Zepko). 
Ninety-four Cattle Egrets at Featherbed Lane, 
Salem, NJ 28 Aug (WK), near the nesting 
colony at Pea Patch 1. on the Delaware R., was 
a large number for recent years. Twenty-two 
Cattle Egrets were tallied on Long 1. 1 Oct-14 
Nov (SA, SSM et al.); singles were found n. to 
Royalton, Niagara, NY 24 Oct (Bob Ens- 
minger) and Alexander, Genesee, NY 29 Oct 
Ooe Salvador). Seventeen Yellow-crowned 
Night-Herons were at Cape May Courthouse 
2 Sep (Dave Lord); a juv. continued at 
Dunkirk Harbor, Erie, NY until 20 Sep O^rry 
Lazercyck). In all, there were one ad. and 5 
imm. White Ibis in Delaware 1-13 Aug (FR, 
BGP, Mike Rosenberg, Bill Stewart, Sue Gru- 
ver, Kim Steininger, ES). At Bombay Hook, 
228 Glossy Ibis were counted 2 Aug (Barbara 
Hiebsch), and 570 were noted at Brigantine 
12 Aug (BPu). 

The Fire Island Hawkwatch counted 557 
Ospreys for the season, a record-high number 


46 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


HUDSON-DELAWARE 



Although there are dozens of records of Swainson's Hawk from Cape May, New Jersey 
and Cape Charles, Virginia, the species is almost never reported in the extensive area 
(coastal Maryland and Delaware) between these productive peninsular tips. This ju- 
venile Swainson's was photographed near Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge 19 
October 2010, making the third record for Delaware. Photograph by Howard B. Eskin. 


(DrP). A White-tailed Kite spent nearly a 
month near Barnegat, Ocean, NJ 21 Oct-12 
Nov (M. Duffy Barrow, FS, SPG, KL, m.ob.), 
about the 5th New Jersey record and 6th for 
the Region. The fall’s only Mississippi Kite 
was at Derby Hill 3 Sep (Tom Carollan, BPu) 
for a 3rd local record and first in fall for the 
watch. Fire Island had a record total of 523 
Northern Harriers (DrP); 189 were counted at 
Cape May 1 Nov (DG). Five Northern 
Goshawks were at Scherman-Hoffman Sanc- 
tuary, Somerset, NJ 6 Nov (Ben Barkley), 4 
were at Cape May 6 Nov (Ray Duffy), and 4 
were on Long I. 30 Oct-21 Nov (SA et al). 
Sixty Red-shouldered Hawks at Cape May 1 
Nov (DG) was a large number for any coastal 
site; 11 were tracked on Long 1. 11 Sep-27 
Nov. An imm. Swainson’s Hawk at Deep 
Branch Rd., Sussex 17-30 Oct (ES, BGP, mob.) 
furnished just the 3rd Delaware record. No- 
table Golden Eagle reports included 11 at 
Cape May 1 Nov (DG) and 4 at Raccoon 
Ridge Hawkwatch, Wanen, NJ 6 Nov (FG), 
plus 9 others in New Jersey and 2 on Long 1. 
in mid-Oct. Daily maxima of 561 American 
Kestrels and 214 Merlins were at Cape May 
20 Sep (DG), and 92 Peregrines were counted 
4 Oct (DG). Fire Island Hawkwatch season 
totals of 2119 Merlins and 325 Peregrine Fal- 
cons were both all-time highs (DrP). 

CRANES THROUGH ALCIDS 

Seventeen Sandhill Cranes were at Husted 
Landing, Cumberland, NJ 13 Nov (S. Killeen), 
a county where hybrid (Common x Sandhill) 
cranes persist, and at least one Sandhill was 
around Cape May 15-29 Oct (KL et al.). Sin- 
gle Sandhill Cranes were in Delaware at 
Newark, New Castle 14 Sep-10 Nov (Susan 
Eggert, DAS) and at Broadkill Beach Rd. 8-23 
Nov (SAB). Five hundred Black-bellied 
Plovers were at Brigantine 27 Sep (Seth Kel- 
logg, Janet Zepko); an estimate of 1000 at 
Jones Beach S.P. 26 Nov (LZ) was lower than 
last year’s total. About 50 American Golden- 
Plovers in Delaware included 12 in Kent 19 
Aug (L. Just) and 27 at the Greenland Sod 
Farm, Bethel, Sussex 20 Sep (GAG); 14 were 
at Brigantine 16 Sep (M. Newlon). Seventy- 
five were found on Long 1. 2 Sep-12 Nov, in- 
cluding 35 at Riverhead 27 Oct Qohn 
Sepenoski et al.). Semipalmated Plovers 
peaked at 6348 at Brigantine 13 (MHa); 253 
Killdeer were at Franklin, Hunterdon, NY 4 
Sep (FS). Peak counts of American Oyster- 
catcher included 325 at Cape May Court- 
house, Cape May 9 Oct (Dave Lord, Will Ker- 
ling) and 312 at Jones Beach 12 Sep (DFu). 

Two American Avocets were at Times 
Beach, Erie, NY 9-12 Sep Oay Burney, Chuck 
Rosenburg, m.ob.), 11 were at Brigantine 7 


Oct (MHa), and 500-1- were 
at Bombay Hook 25 Sep 
(Frank Marenghi), the Re- 
gion’s stronghold for this w. 
shorebird. Singles else- 
where were on Long 1. at 
Oceanside 7 Sep (Ken 
Thompson) and at Jones 
Beach 11 Oct (Paul Gilder- 
sleeve, m.ob.). In addition, 
there were 6 in s. New Jer- 
sey and 4 on Long L, the 
last noted in late Oct. A 
Spotted Sandpiper at Ditch 
Plains, Suffolk, NY 20 Nov 
(AnW) was late. Greater 
Yellowlegs peaked at 495 at 
Brigantine 5 Aug (MHa). 

One hundred sixty Western 
Willets were on Brigantine 
I., Atlantic, NJ 7 Oct (David 
Pereksta); 48 were at Jones 
Beach 11 Sep (Bobby 
Berlingeri). Some 700 Less- 
er Yellowlegs, 200 Whim- 
brels, and 185 Stilt Sand- 
pipers were at Brigantine 12 Aug (MO’B). 
Two Hudsonian Godwits on Long 1. included 
an injured bird at Jones Beach 23 Nov (K&SF, 
Evan Edelbaum). A fiock of 34 Hudsonians 
at Brigantine 9 Oct (Mike Wilson) was the 
season’s highest count. Elsewhere, there were 
about 4 in s. New Jersey, with one at Brigan- 
tine as late as 20 Nov (DFr, Roger Horn), and 
about 6 singles in Delaware 2 Aug-28 Sep, 
plus a flock of 12 at Bombay Hook 21 Oct 
(Mike C. Moore). Marbled Godwit reports 
included 55 in s. New Jersey, with top counts 
of 36 at Brigantine 1. 24 Oct (SAB) and 18 at 
Nummy 1. 23 Oct (Wayne Bell, Amanda 
Spears); about 10 were in Delaware, and 8-9 
were at Cupsogue, Suffolk, NY 4-8 Sep (Carl 
Starace, SSM). 

Peak counts of the declining Red Knot in- 
cluded 505 at Brigantine 10 Aug (MHa), 460 
at Wildwood, Cape May 12 Sep (DFr), and 
320 at Jones Beach 29 Oct-8 Nov (BFo). 
About 1400 Sanderlings were at Brigantine 8 
Aug (M. Humphries). The highest count of 
Semipalmated Sandpipers was of 15,000 at 
Brigantine 12 Aug (MO’B). There were fewer 
Western Sandpipers reported this season than 
last fall: among notable reports, 400 were at 
Two Mile Landing, Cape May 31 Oct (CW, 
JBa), and 5 were at Jamaica Bay 4 Sep (RJK). 
Six hundred Least Sandpipers were at Brigan- 
tine 10 Aug (Michael Lester, T. Ford-Hutchin- 
son). White-rumped Sandpipers totaled 295 
at Cape May 4 Oct (DG), and about 20 made 
a below-average fall total for Long Island. Sev- 
enteen Baird’s Sandpipers in New Jersey in- 


cluded 6 at Brigantine 11 Sep (Chris Brown); 
10 were seen on Long 1. 16 Sep (Sy Schiff et 
al); and 4 were reported from upstate New 
York. Forty-one Pectoral Sandpipers were at 
Cape May 1 Oct (DG). Dunlins peaked at 
5814 at Brigantine 25 Nov (MHa). Nineteen 
Buff-breasted Sandpipers were at the Green- 
land Sod Farm, Sussex, DE 20 Sep (GAG), and 
40 were tallied in New Jersey, including 27 at 
Brigantine 11 Sep (Chris Brown). Five others 
were in Delaware, and there were 21 reports 
of about 35 birds on Long 1. 1 Sep-26 Oct 
(SA, RA et al.). The only Ruff of the fall was, 
surprisingly, a juv. at Batavia WT.P 18 Oct 
(WW, MS et al.) for a first local fall record. 
Short-billed Dowitchers peaked at 3000 at 
Brigantine 12 Aug, where 350 Long-billeds 
were noted the same day (MO’B). A Wilson’s 
Phalarope was at Bombay Hook 11-17 Aug 
(MCM, Greg Butcher), another was at Ja- 
maica Bay 3-7 Sep (CF et al.), and 3 were in 
New Jersey 8 Aug-9 Oct (SPG, Ray Duffy). 
Red-necked Phalaropes seen inland in New 
Jersey included a single on the Walkill R. in 
Sussex 4 Sep (Deborah Powell) and one on 
Merrill Creek Res., Warren 6 Oct (TV). Thir- 
ty-five Red Phalaropes were off Cape May 23 
Nov (MO’B). 

Some 3000 Laughing Gulls were at Brigan- 
tine 12 Aug (MO’B). Single Franklin’s Gulls 
were found 27 Oct on Long L: a first-cycle 
bird at Robert Moses S.P (KF) and an ad. 
nearby at Captree S.P, Suffolk, NY (PJL, SSM). 
The top Bonaparte’s Gull counts on the coast 
were just 1113 at Fire L, Suffolk, NY 25 Nov 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


47 


HUDSON-DELAWARE 


(BrB), 1000 off Cape May 23 Nov (MO’B), 
and 1200 at Sandy Hook 26 Nov (R. Schain). 
An imm. Black-headed Gull was at Mecox 
Bay, Suffolk, NY 21 Oct-7 Nov QSh, HM), and 
2 were in Delaware 21 Aug-25 Nov (Anthony 
Gonzon; BGP). Five Little Gulls were on 
Long 1. 21 Oct+ (AnW, K&SF), one was in 
Delaware 21 Aug (AG), and 2 were reported 
from New Jersey. Three Iceland Gulls were in 
New Jersey 13-30 Nov (SAB, David Rankin). 
Lesser Black-backed Gulls continue their ex- 
pansion: 236 were on Round Valley Res., Hun- 
terdon, NJ 16 Sep (FS), and at least 34 were on 
Long. 1. through the season (PJL, AnW, SSM 
et al.). Two ad. California Gulls were again 
found along the Niagara R., with one at Niag- 
ara Falls S.P. 29 Oct-5 Nov, the other at the 
Niagara Power Project 26-28 Nov QP WD'A, 
DW, WW et al., m.ob.). An ad. Thayer’s Gull 
was at Niagara Falls S.P 31 Oct (WD’A, AG et 
al). Eighty Black-legged Kittiwakes were tal- 
lied off Cape May 23 Nov (MO’B). 

Among notable reports of Gull-billed Tern 
were 20 at Brigantine 12 Aug (MO’B) and 12 at 
White’s Bogs, Burlington, NJ 11 Aug (T. Ander- 
son). Thirty-four Caspian Terns made the high 
count at Cape May 22 Sep (DG), and 800 
Forster’s Terns were at Brigantine 12 Aug 
(MO’B). An ad. Roseate Tern at Montauk was 
especially late 30 Sep (AnW). Three thousand 
Common Terns represented the peak at Mon- 
tauk 12 Sep (AnW). Six Sandwich Terns were 
at Cape May 10 Aug (CJV). The Region’s high 
count of 1542 Black Skimmers came from Klin- 
gener Park, Atlantic, NJ 26 Aug (M. Stanton), 
and 747 was the local high tally at Cape May 1 
Oct (DG). A South Polar Skua was at Wilming- 
ton Canyon 15 Aug (MFr et al); a Pomarine 
Jaeger was at Cape May 20 Oct (DG). Among 
about 130 Parasitic Jaegers reported this sea- 
son, 25 were at Cape May 23 Nov (MO’B) and 
10 at Cape Henlopen Hawkwatch 23 Sep-28 
Oct (FDR et al.), with a late bird there 7 Nov 
(FDR). In upstate New York, 3 Long-tailed 
Jaegers were seen from Derby Hill 16 Oct (BPti, 
Kevin McGann), one was at Hamlin Beach S.P 
near Rochester 21 Sep (RSp), and another was 
at Greece, Monroe 9 Oct Oiiti & Liz Barry). Sev- 
enteen Razorbills were at Sandy Hook 26 Nov 
(Ryan Schain), and a Dovekie made it to Mon- 
tauk Pt. 19 Oct (Bruce Horwith), presaging a 
large winter flight. 

DOVES THROUGH WOODPECKERS 

Single White-winged Doves were enjoyed at 
the Fire Island Hawkwatch 31 Oct (DrP), 
Westhampton Beach, Suffolk, NY 16 Nov (Ori- 
na Richardson), Cape May 6-10 Sep (CJV, DF 
et al.), and Cape Henlopen 28 Oct (FDR, 
Sharon Lynn). The strongholds of our Monk 
Parakeet population are in Bergen, NJ, where 


100 were estimated at their traditional loca- 
tion 5 Nov Ottlie McCall), and at Greenwood 
cemetery in Brooklyn, where 30 were present 
this fall. About 10 Long-eared Owls in New 
Jersey 29 Oct-i- were likely migrants, but one 
in Hunterdon, NJ 29 Aug (FS) may have been 
a local; 2 were found in Delaware 28 Sep-17 
Oct (AG, DG). Ten Short-eared Owls were in 
New Jersey 13 Oct-t- (S. Chang, M. Britt, T. 
Reed). Three Northern Saw-whet Owls were 
heard calling in response to audio lures at 
Cape May 1-6 Nov (MO’B); a count of 3030 
Chimney Swifts at the George Washington 
Middle School, Bergen, NJ 2 Oct (Kurt Muenz) 
was twice last year’s peak there. Late Ruby- 
throated Hummingbirds included singles at 
Cape May 17 (KL) & 20 Nov (Will Kerling). 
Two Rufous Hummingbirds were trapped and 
banded this fall: a hatch-year female at 
Brandywine, New Castle, DE 5-27 Nov (Alissa 
Kegekman, David Holmes, BGP) and an after- 
hatch-year female at Interlaken, Ocean, NJ 24- 
28 Nov (Bill Dalton, SAB, RRV, ETB). Single 
unidentified Selaspliorus hummingbirds in- 
cluded one at Bethany Beach, Sussex, DE 1-24 
Nov (Lorraine, FR) and another at the Cape 
Henlopen hawkwatch 10 Nov (FDR). Forty 
Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were at Cape May 2 
Oct (MO’B); the peak of Northern Flicker mi- 
gration appeared to be 768 at Cape May 2 Oct 
(TBJ). The report of a Red-shafted Flicker at 
Millford Neck Wildlife Area, Kent, DE 21 Sep 
(Chris Bennett) would be of interest if con- 
hrmable; Red-shafted has not been positively 
recorded in the East, where reports prove to be 
of Red-shafted x Yellow-shafted crosses or ery- 
thristic Yellow-shafteds. 

FLYCATCHERS THROUGH WAXWINGS 

Four Alder Flycatchers were identified at 
Cape May 15 Sep (MSG). Two hundred East- 
ern Phoebes were estimated at Sandy Hook 10 
Oct (Vince Nichnadowicz). Single Ash- 
throated Flycatchers were at Cape May 29-30 
Oct (SPG, R. Fanning), 9-13 Nov (DG et al), 
and 25-29 Nov (CJV, KL), and one was at 
Jones Beach 25 Nov (Steve Walter). Eight 
Western Kingbirds were in New Jersey 19 
Aug-12 Nov (CJV, DG, TV et al), 8 on Long 
1. 10 Sep-21 Nov (Norm Klein, PJL, SSM et 
al), 3 in Delaware — with one very early at 
Whitehall Neck Rd., Kent 17-18 Aug (Glen 
Lovelace, CB) — and 2 at Cape Henlopen 22- 
28 Oct (FDR). The peak of 500 Eastern King- 
birds hit Cape May 25-27 Aug (MO’B, MFr), 
and a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher paused there 
18 Oct (DG). A Gray Kingbird at Savannah, 
Wayne, NY 23 Oct (D. Sherony) made a mar- 
velous find upstate. The highest total of Red- 
eyed Vireos was 40 at Cape May 5 Sep (CJV). 
Fifteen hundred Blue Jays were at Cape May 8 


Oct (DG). Common Ravens continue to in- 
crease: one was seen at the Ashland Hawk- 
watch, New Castle, DE 15 Sep (Lauren Mor- 
gens, Matt Sarver, Cyrus Moqtaderi); 30 at the 
Racoon Ridge Hawkwatch 6 Nov (Mike 
Reese) was a high total for that site; and at 
least 25 were on Long 1. and Staten 1. (SA, 
SIW et al.). 

An estimate of 75,000 Purple Martins 
along the Maurice R., Cumberland, NJ 13 Aug 
(Warren Cairo, Dave Lord) well exceeds the 
maximum of 30,000 (Birds of New Jersey, 
1999). Cave Swallows numbered 14 at Coney 
L, Brooklyn, NY 24 Nov (Shane Blodgett); 
about 21 others on were noted on Staten 1. 
and Long 1. 30 Oct+ (SA et al). Forty-eight 
Cave Swallows explored Delaware 23 Oct-19 
Nov, with maxima of 9 on 23 Oct and 29 on 
19 Nov, all at the Cape Henlopen Hawk- 
watch. In Newjersey 28 were at Cape May 8 
Nov (CJV) and 110 there 27 Nov (DG). In 
upstate New York, 21 were at Derby Hill 26 
Oct and 5 there until 23 Nov (BPu et al), one 
was at Carlton, Orleans 23 Nov (DT), and 
150 were in the Rochester area 23 Oct-late 
Nov (DT et al). Up to 20 Black-capped 
Chickadees found in n. Delaware 10 Oct+ 
(DAS et al.) indicated a massive southward 
irruption. A Boreal Chickadee at Coney L, 
Brooklyn, NY 9 Nov (Shane Blodgett) fur- 
nished the hrst coastal record in many years. 
Red-breasted Nuthatches were on the move: 
276 were counted at Cape May 12 Oct (TBJ). 
Two Sedge Wrens were found at Ted Harvey 
W.M.A., DE 7 Aug (Scott Baron), 2 were at 
Glades W.A., Cumberland, NJ 28 Nov (Dave 
Lord), and one was at Palmyra Cove, Burling- 
ton, NJ 9 Oct (Linda Widdop, Barbara 
Nevin). Ten Gray-cheeked Thrushes were at 
Cape May 12 Oct (MO’B) and 3 Bicknell’s 
Thrushes recorded there 3-12 Oct (DF, 
MO’B). Another Bicknell’s was identified in 
Central Park, Manhattan 2 Oct (LS, H. 
Maas). Two female Varied Thrushes ap- 
peared: one at a private residence in East 
Marion, Suffolk, NY 26 Nov+ (Jidc HM) and 
another in Central Park, Manhattan 28 Nov 
(Mike Bryant, Ray Slyper, D. Allen). 

WARBLERS THROUGH FINCHES 

A Golden-winged Warbler at Ashland Nature 
Center, New Castle 15 Sep (joe Sebastiani) 
was the only one reported in Delaware; 2 were 
noted on Long 1. and 4 in Newjersey 6 Aug-9 
Sep (Kirsten Mills, SPG et al). Migrant Ten- 
nessee Warblers were much more numerous 
than they have been recently; 3 1 were at Cape 
May 28 Aug (TBJ), 26 there on 2 Oct (TBJ), 
12 at Hofstra Park, Passaic, NJ 6 Oct (Stephen 
Brauning), and a late individual at Pt. Look- 
out, Nassau, NY 22 Nov QGl). At Cape May, 


48 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


HUDSON-DELAWARE 


li^ powerful low-pressure system crossed the continent in the last week of Oct, bringing several remarkable fallouts of birds to the mid- 
, j ,fl Atlantic coast, chiefly at Cape May, on both 29 & 30 Oct. Among these were typical short-distance migrants such as American Woodcocks, 
American Robins, Hermit Thrushes, finches, and sparrows, as well as the now-expected "reverse" migrants such as Cave Swallow. But there was 
also a strong component of more westerly migrants such as Vesper and White-crowned Sparrows, as well as several real vagrants, and it seems 
plausible that many of these were displaced eastward by this historically significant storm. 

Because the autumn birding festival was in progress there, the Cape May "regulars" were mostly involved in guiding bird walks, but most 
observers kept running estimates of the most numerous or interesting migrants they saw, and Tony Leukering compiled numbers for many of 
these species into gross estimates (Table 1 ). Although no record counts were exceeded, the many thousands of Hermit Thrushes rivaled the flight 
of that species at Cape May from 3 Nov 2006. In addition to the birds listed in Table 1, Cape May boasted the usual Cave Swallows and Ash-throat- 
ed Flycatcher, plus several thousand Savannah Sparrows 29-30 Oct, a Le Conte's Sparrow 29 Ort (MO'B), and a Henslow's Sparrow 30-31 Oct (SPG, 
m.ob.). Almost certainly also fallout birds, a Le Conte's Sparrow was at Cape Henlopen Hawkwatch 29 Oct (FDR), and another Henslow's Sparrow 
was at Rehoboth Beach, Sussex, DE 29 Oct (AG). 

But the greatest rarities of this weekend were neither sparrows nor thrushes, and not all were at Cape May. A Yellow Rail was at Cape Island 
Preserve 29 Oct (Cameron Cox), and a Common Ground-Dove appeared at Cape May Point S.P. 29 Oct (Blake Mathys), just the 3rd state record. 
Not far away, New York's first Common Ground-Dove visited Captree S.P., Suffolk, NY 31 Oct-21 Nov (PJL, SSM, m.ob.), probably also associated 
with the storm system. A Loggerhead Shrike at Jones Beach 30 Oct-30 Nov (Steve Nanz, Mark Rymkiewicz, m.ob.) was one of few recorded in 
coastal New York in recent decades and may also have been connected to the storm, though there has been a slight Increase in such Atlantic 
coastal records in recent years, possibly a result of reintroducticn programs in Ontario and Quebec. Perhaps the rarest bird of the fall, a young 
male Lewis's Woodpecker appeared 30 Oct near Honeoye, Ontario, NY (m.ob.), where it spent the winter and part of the spring. This bird could 
well have been part of the storm's cargo, but dispersing birds were widely reported in the West, where acorn crops had failed in many areas, so 
it seems likely that this bird was already far from home when the system swept through. 


Table 1. Estimated counts of selected migrants at 
Cape Island, Cape May, NJ 29-30 Ortober 2010. 

Species 

29 October 

30 October 

American Woodcock 

500 

1 

Eastern Phoebe 

125 

675 

Eastern Bluebird 

150 

1000 

Hermit Thrush 

4500 

16,000 

American Robin 

110,000 

75,000 

Yeliow-rumped Warbler 

95,000 

14,500 

Chipping Sparrow 

4750 

1150 

Vesper Sparrow 

2 

45 

Song Sparrow 

16,500 

29,000 

Swamp Sparrow 

9000 

12,500 

White-crowned Sparrow 

225 

130 

White-throated Sparrow 

10,500 

27,500 

Dark-eyed Junco 

18,500 

3100 

Red-winged Blackbird 

15,500 

2250 

Purple Finch 

290 

325 

House Finch 

10,200 

180 

Pine Siskin 

850 

60 

American Goldfinch 

7300 

675 


697 Northern Parulas at were tallied 15 Sep 
(TBJ et al). Cape May Warbler numbers con- 
tinue to be increase slowly, with 33 at Cape 
May 10 Sep (MO’B), and some 1066 Palm 
Warblers at there 2 Oct (TBJ) made an im- 
pressive total. A Cerulean Warbler was at 
Cape May 28 Aug (SPG, TBJ), and another 
was in Passaic, NJ 11 Sep Qohan Antus). On 
15 Sep, Black-and-white Warblers totaled 352 
at Cape May, and 1550 American Redstarts 
were also tallied (TBJ). Ten Prothonotary 
Warblers at Turkey Pt., Cumberland, NJ 5 Sep 
made an extraordinary count for migrants 
Qohn Hand), and one was extremely late at 
Stone Harbor, Cape May 1 Nov Cre- 

mer). One hundred fifty-seven Northern Wa- 
terthrushes were counted at Cape May 10 Sep 
(DG). A Kentucky Warbler was at Baldpate 
Mt., Mercer, NJ 30 Aug (Sharyn Magee), an- 
other was at Sandy Hook 26 Aug (SAB), and 
another at Cape May 11 Sep (Kurt Schwartz). 
About 45 Connecticut Warblers were report- 
ed Region-wide, with a peak of 7 at Cape May 
15 Sep (Cameron Cox). A Yellow-breasted 
Chat found dead on a lawn in Piercefield, St. 
Lawrence, NY 27 Sep was unusually far north 
(David Buckley). 

Five Summer Tanagers were in New Jersey 
30 Aug-19 Sep (CJV, Barbara Nevin et al.), 
and 38 Scarlet Tanagers were at Cape May 15 
Sep (TBJ). At Cape May, about 1000 Chip- 
ping Sparrows were noted 22 Oct (KL, Patty 
Rourke et al.), a week before the main spar- 
row fallouts of the month. About 40 Clay- 
colored Sparrows were recorded in the Re- 


gion. Fifteen Vesper Sparrows at Spruce Run 
Res., Hunterdon, NJ 23 Oct (Holly Dunbar) 
made a remarkable count away from the 
coast. Twenty-four Lark Sparrows included 4 
on Long I. and Staten 1. and 12 in New Jer- 
sey; another made a 7th local record at Wil- 
son, Niagara, NY 17-24 Nov (BP, WD’A). A 
Lark Bunting was at Bombay Hook 19-25 Sep 
(Chris & Karen Bennett, Ed Norman, 
Howard B. Eskin) for about a 6th state 
record. Up to 2 Le Conte’s Sparrows were at 
Sandy Hook 9-11 Oct (R. Fanning, SAB, LM). 
Nine Nelson’s Sparrows were at Sandy Hook 
28 Oct (FS). Eighteen Blue Grosbeaks on 
Staten 1. and Long 1. 9 Sep-20 Oct were more 
than last year. Four thousand Bobolinks at 
Cape May 4 Sep (MSG) made a noteworthy 
count, as did 9400 Red-winged Blackbirds 
there 22 Oct (TBJ). It was a huge fall for Yel- 
low-headed Blackbirds: 5 were in New Jersey 
20 Aug-25 Sep (Charles Slugg et al, Seth 
Kellogg, m.ob.), and 7 were in Delaware 6-18 
Nov, including up to 5 near Prime Hook 
N.W.R., Sussex, DE on various dates (BGP, 
ES, Sharon Lynn, FDR) and one at Cape Hen- 
lopen 18 Nov (FDR et al.); a male was at 
Howland I., Cayuga, NY 11 Sep (KM, BPu). 
Eighteen hundred Rusty Blackbirds were es- 
timated coming out of a roost in Alexander, 
Genesee, NY 6 Nov (Kurt Fox). A Brewer’s 
Blackbird was at Deep Hollow Ranch, Mon- 
tauk 31 Oct (AnW). 

Common Redpolls, Pine Siskins, and Pur- 
ple Finches moved southward beginning in 
Oct. Forty Purple Finches were at the Ash- 


land Hawkwatch 10 Oct (DAS et al), and 28+ 
were at Cape Henlopen 23 Oct (FDR); 100 
were at Fort Tilden, Queens, NY 17 Oct (SA 
et al.) and another 100 at Robert Moses S.P, 
NY 29 Oct (K&SF). At Cape May, 212 Purple 
Finches and 2459 House Finches passed 24 
Oct (TBJ), with larger numbers a few days lat- 
er (see S.A. feature). Twenty-three Red Cross- 
bills were found on Long I. 30 Oct+ (PJL, SSM 
et al), and 8 were tallied in New Jersey 10 
Sep-28 Nov (Dan & Lori Paolillo, Scott Mc- 
Connell). Four White-winged Crossbills were 
at Cape Henlopen 10-11 Nov (FDR, BGP), 
and 5 were found on Long 1. 10 Nov+ (SA et 
al.). Six Common Redpolls flew over Cape 
Henlopen 29 Oct (FDR), and another was 
there 9 Nov (FDR). A Common Redpoll was 
at Sandy Hook 11 Nov (SAB), and 3 were at 
Jones Beach 25 Nov (TWB, KF et al.). Hun- 
dreds of Pine Siskins arrived in Delaware 23 
Oct (FDR, Sue Gruber, Matt Sarver, CAC), 
850 were at Cape May 29 Oct (DG), and 750 
were counted between Robert Moses S.P. 
(K&SF) and Jones Beach 12 Nov (SA). About 
1000 American Goldfinches at Cape May 7 
Nov (m.ob.) added to 7300+ seen the week 
before. An Evening Grosbeak was at Cape 
Henlopen 12 Nov (Mark Linardi); 5 appeared 
at Wilson, Niagara, NY 8 Nov (BP); and 65 
were at Boylston, Oswego, NY 21 Nov (BPu). 

Observ'ers (subregional compilers in bold- 
face): Deborah Allen (Central Park, NY), Seth 
Ausubel, Scott A. Barnes (North Coast Re- 
gion, NJ: Sandy Hook Bird Observatory, P.O. 


VOlUME 65 (2011) 


NUMBER 1 


49 


HUDSON-DELAWARE 


Box 553, Ft. Flancock, NJ 07732), Andrew 
Baksh, Jessie H. Barry, Chris Bennett, Bob 
Berlingeri, Orhan Birol, Shane Blodgett, 
Michael Bochnik (Hudson-Delaware, NY: 86 
Empire St., Yonkers, NY 10704), Jeffrey S. 
Bolsinger (St. Lawrence Region, 98 State St., 
Canton, NY 13617), Brent Bonkamp, Tom 
Boyle (TBo), Michael Britt, E. Thomas Brown, 
Thomas W. Burke, Barbara Butler (Dutchess, 
NY), Colin A. Campbell, Cameron Cox, Willie 
D’Anna, Andrew E Ednie, Vince Elia (South 
Coast & Delaware Bay Regions, NJ: CMBO 
R&E Center, 600 Rte. 47N, Cape May Court- 
house, NJ 08120), Rob banning, Ken & Sue 
Eeustel, Howie Eischer, Ted Eloyd (TEl), Va- 
lerie Ereer, Don Freiday (Cape May: CMBO 
R&E Center, 600 Rte. 47N, Cape May Court- 
house, NJ 08120), Mike Eritz, Doug Eutuyma, 
Sam F Galick, Mark S. Garland (Cape May, 
NJ), Arie Gilbert, John Gluth OGO, Doug 
Gochfeld, Anthony Gonzon, Kevin C. Griffith 
(Genesee Region, NY: 61 Grandview Lane, 
Rochester, NY 14612Paul A. Guris, Andy 
Guthrie, Rich Guthrie, Mary Harper, Tom B. 


Johnson (Linger Lakes Region, 150 Tripham- 
mer Road, Ithaca, NY 14850), William Keim, 
Seth Kellogg (SKe), Steve Kolbe, Bill Krueger, 
Robert J. Kurtz, Simon Lane, Laurie Larson 
(LLa; New Jersey), Gary N. Lee (Adirondack 
Region, NY; FO. Box 302, 116 Limekiln Lake 
Road, Inlet, N.Y. 13360), Tony Leukering, Pa- 
tricia J. Lindsay (Long Island and New York 
City: 28 Mystic Circle, Bay Shore, NY 11706), 
Jean Loscalzo, Hugh McGuiness (Eastern 
Long I., NY: FO. Box 3005, Southampton, NY 
11969), Keith Michael, Charles Mitchell, 
Shaibal S. Mitra (Long Island and New York 
City; Biology Department, College of Staten Is- 
land, 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY 
10314), Mike Morgante (MM; Niagara Fron- 
tier region, NY: 59 Briar Hill Road, Orchard 
Park, NY 14127), Celeste Morien, Chris New- 
ton, Vince Nichnadowicz, Michael O’Brien, 
Drew Panko (DrP), Jim Pawlicki, Bruce G. Pe- 
terjohn, Betsy Potter, Bill Purcell (BPu; Onei- 
da Lake Basin, NY: 281 Baum Road, Hastings, 
NY 13076), Rick Radis (NW New Jersey: 69 
Ogden Avenue, Rockaway, NJ 07866; iso- 


j Middle Atlantic 


tria@verizon.net), Tom Reed, Forrest D. Row- 
land, Frank Sencher, John Shemilt, Ed Sigda, 
Robert & Susan Spahn (RSp; Genesee Or- 
nithological Society), Derek A. Stoner, W. 
Symonds, David Tetlow, Michael Tetlow, 
Christopher J. Vogel, Tom Vouglas, William 
Watson, Matt Webster, David Wheeler, Christi- 
na Wilkinson, Angus Wilson (AnW), Christo- 
pher L. Wood, Seth I. Woolney, Will Yandik 
(Hudson-Mohawk NY: 269 Schneider Road, 
Hudson, NY 12534), Matthew A. Young 
(Susquehanna, NY: Cornell Lab of Ornitholo- 
gy, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY 
14850), Robert F Yunick, Louise Zemaitis. © 


Robert 0. Paxton, 460 Riverside Drive, Apt. 72 
New York, New York 10027, (rop1@columbia.edu) 

Richard R. Veit 

Department of Biology, College of Staten Island 
2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, New York 10314 
(veitrr2003@yahoo.com) 

Frank Rohrbacher, 5 Neva Court 
Wilmington, Delaware 19810, (R0HRBAF@aol.com) 


v0lac*wa(ef . 

fs A •Salisbury iVOcean 

E.A. Vauahn/'fy* 


A= Hunt/ey Meadews County Park 


C= Patuxent R. Naval Air Station 
D= Pt. Lookout SP 



Beach 

XrrrKrs^ Bay HWH 


MarkT. Adams 
Matt Hafner 


T he near-record summer heat continued 
into August and September, though 
temperatures moderated in October 
and were near normal in November. Precipi- 
tation was about average for the season, 
though there was considerable variation from 
month to month: a wet September offset low- 
er precipitation amounts in other months, 
with November being the driest, particularly 
on the Coastal Plain. Hurricane Earl was the 
only major storm threat. Diminished by a 
cold front, Earl's eye passed about 100 km 
east of the coast 3 September, generating on- 
shore winds up to 35 knots. Observers were 


stationed along the ocean and the 
Chesapeake Bay shores and major 
rivers, but, as expected, few seabirds 
were noted in association with the 
storm’s passage well offshore. 

The passerine fall migration fea- 
tured two major flights with high 
species diversity and numbers — 8 
and 29 October. The Kiptopeke 
Songbird Banding Station operated 
for its 48th consecutive fall season 
18 August-22 November, banding 
8391 birds of 95 species during 
13,072 net-hours. The Center for Conserva- 
tion Biology at the College of William and 
Mary/Virginia Commonwealth University 
operated a passerine banding project 31 Au- 
gust-30 November on the Eastern Shore of 
Virginia National Wildlife Refuge and 
processed 11,683 birds in 6874 net-hours. 

The season’s avian highlights included 
White-cheeked Pintail, Garganey, Yellow Rail, 
Long-billed Curlew, Black-chinned and 
Allen’s Hummingbirds, Say’s Phoebe, Bell’s 
Vireo, Northern Wheatear, and Cassin’s Spar- 
row. In addition to our many individual con- 
tributors, we thank Adam D’Onofrio, YuLee 
Lamer, Robert E Ringler, Jo Solem, and Bill 
Williams for their assistance in compiling and 
interpreting the season’s records. 


Abbreviations: Assat. (Assateague Island, 
Worcester, MD); Back Bay (Back Bay N.W.R., 
Virginia Beach); Bay (Chesapeake Bay); 
C.B.B.T. (Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, s. of 
Northampton); C.C.B. (Center for Conserva- 
tion Biology at the College of William and 
MaryWirginia Commonwealth University); 
Chine. (Chincoteague N.W.R., Accomack, 
VA); Craney (Craney Island Disposal Area, 
Portsmouth, VA); E.S.V.N.W.R. (Eastern 
Shore of Virginia N.WR., Northampton); Hart 
(Hart-Miller L, Baltimore, MD); Hog (Hog Is- 
land W.M.A., Surry, VA); Kipt. (Kiptopeke 
S.R, Northampton). 

WATERFOWL THROUGH HAWKS 

A Black-bellied Whistling-Duck stopped at 
Swift Creek Res., Chesterfield, VA 30 Aug (ph. 
PS); one visiting L. Audubon, Eairfax, VA in 
the summer continued through 8 Aug (LM, 
RW). A Greater White-fronted Goose was at 
Chestertown, Kent, MD 15 Oct+ (WEl, NM, 
m.ob.) with 2 Greater White-fronted Goose x 
Canada Goose hybrids. Up to 3 apparent 
Snow Goose x Ross’s Goose hybrids were at 
Chine. 14-26 Nov QE et al., ph. R&CY). 
Ross’s Geese were at Chine. 15 Oct-26 Nov, 
with a peak count of 3 birds on 29 Oct QE) 
and 14 & 26 Nov (JE, ph. R&CY). Single 
Ross’s were at Great Oak Pond, Kent 9-19 Oct 


50 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


MIDDLE ATLANTIC 


(WEl, NM, m.ob.) and Curies Neck Farm, 
Henrico, VA 14 Nov (RAS). Lone Brant were 
away from usual locations at Hart 11 Oct-8 
Nov (RFR, KGr, m.ob.) and Ft. McHenry, Bal- 
timore City, MD OF m.ob.). The 8 Cackling 
Geese at Great Oak Pond, Kent 9 Oct (WEl, 
NM) made the season’s high count. Up to 3 
male Eurasian Wigeons resided at Chine. 15 
Oct-26 Nov QE); 2 visited Mason Neck S.E, 
Fairfax 17-21 Nov (LU, JW, KG); one was at 
Hart 11 Oct (RFR, KGr), one at Occoquan Bay 
N.W.R., Prince William, VA 18 Nov (RHi), and 
one at Craney 18 & 29 Nov (ph. BW et al). 
Early waterfowl included an American 
Wigeon at Hog 29 Aug (AD, NF) and 4 North- 
ern Shovelers at Craney 12 Aug (RB et al.). 
Among enormous flocks of teal, shovelers, 
and other migrating ducks driven onshore by 
Hurricane Earl in early Sep, observers at 
Chine, found a White-cheeked Pintail 4-21 
Sep (p.a., JE, m.ob.) and a female Garganey 6 
Sep (p.a., ph., tESB). Virginia has three prior 
documented records of both. Veteran visitors 
to Chine, commented that such large flocks of 
teal, including counts of up to 400 Blue- 
winged 7 Sep, had not been seen there in 
many years. To the s., at Back Bay, the top 
Blue-winged Teal count of 1178 was made 24 
Sep (DLH). A flock of 4 Common Eiders sum- 
mered at Ocean City Inlet, Worcester, MD, in- 
creasing to 12 in Nov (m.ob.). A female Com- 
mon Eider and a female Harlequin Duck were 
at the C.B.B.T. 19-22 Nov (BTe, DL et al.; ph. 
BH). Two Harlequin Ducks were at Ocean City 
Inlet, Worcester 12 Nov+ (m.ob.). A Bufflehead 
at Fisherville, Augusta, VA 20 Oct (AL) set a 
new early date for the Piedmont. 

A Red-throated Loon at Claytor L., Pulaski, 
VA 23 Oct (MM) set a new early date for the 
Mountains and Valleys region, where the 
species is less than annual. Another at L. 
Anna, Spotsylvania, VA 31 Oct (ph. DL, GM) 
provided a notable Piedmont record. A very 
early Common Loon was at South Holston L., 
Washington, VA 9 Sep (TC). A dead Common 
Loon found near Kipt. 26 Sep had been band- 
ed as a juv. at Three Lakes, Oneida, W1 14Jul 
2009 (fide HTA). Two Red-necked Grebes 
were at Occoquan Bay N.W.R., Prince William 
13 Nov (MR), and 2 were at Ft. McHenry, Bal- 
timore City 23 Nov QH). An Aechmophorus 
grebe briefly visited Claytor L., Pulaski 18 Nov 
(MM). Four Leach’s and 2 Band-rumped 
Storm-Petrels were fine pelagic finds at Balti- 
more Canyon, Worcester 15 Aug (PGu et al); 
Maryland has few records of the latter. Rare in 
the summer in the Bay, single Northern Gan- 
nets were surprising at the Bay Bridge, Queen 
Anne’s, MD 11 Aug (M&JB) and at Pt. Look- 
out, St. Mary’s, MD 27 Sep QLS); most gannets 
arrive in the Bay in Nov and Dec. Two Ameri- 



can Pelicans soared past 
E.S.VN.W.R. 7 Nov (AD et al). 

Singles were at Chesapeake 
Bay Environmental Center, 

Queen Anne’s 1-22 Aug 0D> 
m.ob.), at Craney 19 Aug 
(ABa), and at Ocean City, 

Worcester 12-13 Nov (RG, 

ML). The long-resident Ameri- 
can White Pelican at Blackwa- 
ter N.W.R., Dorchester, MD 
(m.ob.) continued through the 
season. The 59 Brown Pelican 
pairs nesting in Big Bay Marsh, 

Worcester constituted the 
largest colony ever on the 
Maryland coast, exceeding the 
previous count of 26 pairs in 
1989 (DB,iide HTA). The vast 
majority of Maryland’s Brown 
Pelicans nest in the Bay. A 
Great Cormorant was a nice 
find at Hart 25 Oct-8 Nov 
(RFR, KGr, m.ob.). 

The 164 Great Egrets at 
Staunton River S.P., Halifax, 

VA 22 Aug (PG) set a new fall 
high count for the Virginia 
Piedmont. A Snowy Egret was 
inland at Hughes Hollow, 

Montgomery, MD 14 Aug-4 
Sep (CM, m.ob.). The 11 imm. 

Little Blue Herons at Staunton 
View Day Use Park, Mecklen- 
burg, VA 24 Aug (AD) were 
notable. One of the 3 Tricol- 
ored Herons from the summer 
lingered at Patuxent R., Prince 
George’s, MD through 23 Aug 
(m.ob.). Late single Cattle 
Egrets away from the coast 
were at Turkey Island Rd., 

Henrico 23 Oct (AD) and Har- 
rison Lake Fish Hatchery, 

Charles City, VA 24 Oct (AB); 

2 Cattle Egrets were at Drum- 
mond’s Field, James City, VA 
29 Oct (DC). Up to 5 late Yellow-crowned 
Night-Herons lingered at the Old Dominion 
University Sailing Center, Norfolk, VA 26 
Oct+ (NF). Some 428 White Ibis at 
E.S.VN.W.R. 22 Sep (CB) was typical of re- 
cent high counts. White Ibis are becoming 
regular at Bayside on Assat. in the fall: 28 
were there 16 Sep, and 3 remained through 24 
Sep (m.ob.). An inland White Ibis flock visit- 
ed Staunton River S.P., Halifax 1 Aug-12 Sep 
and peaked at 11 on 22 Aug (MJ, PG). Nine 
presumed imm. Glossy Ibis flew past Vio- 
lette’s Lock, Montgomery 12 Sep (DCz) and 
made a high count for the Piedmont of Mary- 


A White-cheeked Pintail turned up at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, 
Virginia amidst thousands of teal 4-21 (here 10) September 2010, just after the 
offshore passage of Hurricane Earl. Photograph byArun Bose. 


A Selaspriorus nummingbird that arrived in a residential Chesiei, Virginia yard 20 
November 2010 (here 26 December) and remained into the winter was captured 
26 November by Bruce Peterjohn, who identified it a hatch-year female Allen's 
Hummingbird, establishing the third state record. The other records are from the 
eastern and western extremes of the state. Photograph by Julie Kacmareik. 

land. A flock of 7-15 ad. and imm. Wood 
Storks visited the Caledon N.A., King George, 
VA for most of Sep (SZ, fide MC), and at least 
one flew over the Potomac R. into Charles, 
MD 23 Sep (GJ, ML, RO). 

The Center for Conservation Biology, the 
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Vir- 
ginia Society for Ornithology supported the 
54th Annual Virginia Bald Eagle Survey, 
recording 681 breeding pairs, a 9.8% increase 
from 2009, and a record-high 883 chicks. 
Westmoreland, VA alone supported 63 pairs. 
The Virginia Eastern Shore hosted 58 Bald Ea- 
gle pairs, well above the 20 pairs seen in 2001 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


51 


MIDDLE ATLANTIC 



Furnishing just the third state record, and the first outside the Coastal Plain, this adult male Black-chinned Hummingbird vis- 
ited a Pulaski, Virginia feeder 8-1 1 (here 10) November 2010. Almost all records of this species in the eastern United States 
are of females or immatures. Photograph by Mark Mullins. 


(MW. fide BWa). The 19 Bald Eagles recorded 
at the RockiTsh Gap Hawkwatch, Augusta 14 
Sep (VL et al.) established a single-day record 
for this location. The season’s daily high 
count (2045 raptors) at the 34th consecutive 
Kiptopeke Hawkwatch occurred 10 Oct, in- 
cluding high counts for Osprey (366), Sharp- 
shinned Hawk (775), and Peregrine Falcon 
(138). Nine Northern Goshawks, an above- 
average number, migrated past the Kiptopeke 
Hawkwatch 30 Oct-25 Nov (fide BW). The 
32,344 Broad-winged Hawks reported from 
the Rockfish Gap Hawkwatch established a 
new season record, and the 4754 Broad- 
winged Hawks seen 15 Sep (BTe), most with- 
in a four-hour afternoon window, was a new 
daily high count. A Golden Eagle at Chine. 29 
Oct QE) was a refuge rarity. An apparent imm. 
Red-tailed Hawk of the Krider’s type (or sub- 
species) was near Townsend, Northampton, 
VA 17 Oct (tESB) and passed over Kipt. a 
week later (ZP); criteria for distinguishing 
Krider’s from light-morph Harlan’s at this age 
are not well known. 

RAILS THROUGH TERNS 

while banding Ammodramus sparrows, Cen- 
ter for Conservation Biology researchers 
flushed another Yellow Rail in a lower 
Northampton marsh 2 Oct (FSm et al.). In 


Maryland, a Yellow Rail was at E. A. "Vaughn 
W.M.A.-North, Worcester 13 Nov (p.a., JD, 
JS), and a road-killed bird was salvaged at St. 
Michaels, Talbot, MD 16 Oct (fide JR). Two 
Sandhill Cranes were seen in many places 
around Northampton 10 Nov-late Dec (ZP, RK 
et al). Singles in Maryland were at Bowie, 
Prince George’s Tl-TJ Nov (EL, m.ob.) and at 
Hampstead, Carroll 23 Nov+ (SS, m.ob.). The 
summer bird at Elkton, Cecil, MD lingered 
through 15 Aug (m.ob.), and 2 remained 
from the summer at Church Hill, Queen Anne’s 
through 9 Sep (DS, MG; m.ob.). Up to 2 
Sandhill Cranes were at Chine. 12-16 Sep 
(FM,JE) and 21 Nov (AL, E&NL). 

Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival 
participants were impressed by 1600-t Black- 
bellied Plovers at Wreck 1. and n. Ship Shoal 
I., Northampton 8 Oct (HTA). American Gold- 
en-Plover reports spanned 25 Aug-21 Nov, 
with a high count of 6 at Staunton River S.P., 
Halifax 12 Sep (PG). Locations that often 
have numbers of this declining species, such 
as Chine, and the potato fields of s. 
Northampton, produced no more than 3 per 
site, but the latest, a juv, was at Bull’s Farm 21 
Nov (ph. ESB). A Piping Plover was at Grand- 
view Nature Preserve, Hampton, "VA 3-6 Aug 
(EE). One of 2 Piping Plovers seen at the 
same location 22 Aug (EE, NF) was banded 


and had been hatched in 2009 or 2010, most 
likely at Whitefish Pt., Chippewa, MI (fide 
AH). A Piping Plover at Assat. 13 Nov (TF, 
JM) was late. A productive nesting season for 
Black-necked Stilts at Poplar L, Talbot yielded 
a peak count of 31 QR et ak); the peak count 
at Craney 19 Aug (RB et al.) was 10 stilts. 
American Avocets were seen 8 Aug-21 Oct, 
with Craney reporting the high count of 72 
birds 19 Aug (RB et al.); 2 American Avocets 
lingered there through 21 Oct (RB, AM, BT). 

A Solitary Sandpiper at Fisherville 6 Nov 
(AL) established a new late fall date for Augus- 
ta, VA. High Willet counts included 410 at 
Machipongo and 180 at Willis Wharf, both 
Northampton 11 Oct (HTA, LD, HW). Single 
Western Willets were at two locations with few 
confirmed records: Pt. Lookout, St. Mary’s 7 
Aug QLS et al.) and Deal I., Somerset, MD 4 
Sep OLS). An Upland Sandpiper in ne. Albe- 
marle, VA 8 Aug (SM) furnished the first coun- 
ty record since 1983. Singles were at Craney 
19-21 Aug (BW, ED et al), Latimer Siding 22 
Aug (CB), Yaros Sod Farm, Northampton 29 
Aug (ESB), and Hog 29 Aug (AB). A Whimbrel 
carrying a satellite transmitter reached St. 
Croix, U. S. "Virgin Islands 26 Aug (LY, fide 
BTr), having recently completed its flight from 
the Virginia Eastern Shore. Originally captured 
and fitted with a transmitter 19 May 2009 
while staging along the Delmarva Peninsula, 
this Whimbrel (nicknamed “Hope”) has been 
tracked twice to breeding grounds along the 
MacKenzie R. near Alaska, through several mi- 
gratory staging areas, to its Virgin Islands win- 
tering site, and has returned three times to the 
same Delmarva Peninsula creek during migra- 
tion. A Whimbrel at Staunton View Public Use 
Area, Mecklenburg 4-6 Sep constituted just the 
4th Virginia Piedmont record (PG; ph. AD, 
TT). A Long-billed Curlew returned to marsh- 
es near Wachapreague, Accomack 15 Oct (LS), 
where one or more has wintered for about a 
decade. Up to 7 Hudsonian Godwits were at 
Chine. 23 Sep-20 Nov (ESB, SB, LMa et al; ph. 
GK, ph. MAK, m.ob.). Maryland singles were 
at Poplar L, Talbot 4 Aug and 11 Nov QR et 
al), at Hart 16 Aug (KGr), and at Kent L, 
Queen Anne’s 1 Oct (MS, m.ob.). 

A Ruddy Turnstone at Triadelphia Res., 
Howard/Montgomery, MD 18 Aug (RFR, 
m.ob.) was well away from the coast. A Red 
Knot was at North Beach, Calvert, MD 20-28 
Aug 0T-S> m.ob.). Rare transients w. of the 
Bay, 3 Sanderlings were at Hog 14 Sep (NF, 
EE). A color-banded female Semipalmated 
Sandpiper at Craney 12 Aug (AM et al; ph. 
BW) had been marked as an after-hatch-year 
bird on the Canning R. delta, Arctic N.W.R., 
North Slope Borough, AK 13 Jun 2010. The 
high Baird’s Sandpiper count was of 3 juvs. at 


52 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


MIDDLE ATLANTIC 



Well-birded Howard County, Maryland had its first record of Le Conte's Sparrow on 16 October 2010 (here) at the University of 
Maryland's Central Farm. Another Le Conte's was found at a different location several hours later by the same group of bird- 
ers. Photograph by Dan Hsm. 


Chine. 16 Sep QE). A Purple Sandpiper at Ft. 
McHenry, Baltimore City 22 Nov OF m.ob.) 
was the first for this well-birded location. 
Good numbers of Buff-breasted. Sandpipers 
were recorded 22 Aug-27 Sep, including 13 at 
Hog 30 Aug (ph. KK, m.ob.) and 14 at Mur- 
ray Sod Farm, Worcester 17 Sep (SDy). Five 
Wilson’s Snipe were a week early at Back Bay 
31 Aug (NF). It was a good fall for Wilson’s 
Phalaropes, with a peak count of 9 at Craney 
21 Aug (RB et al). Red-necked Phalaropes 
were seen 7 Aug-23 Sep, with a peak count of 
4 at Craney 21 Aug (RB et al). Singles at 
Boonsboro, Washington, MD 28-29 Aug (BLa, 
m.ob.) and Perryman Park, Harford, MD 
(MO) were both first county records. Rare on- 
shore, an ad. Red Phalarope at Western Re- 
gional Park, Howard, MD 23 Aug (BHi, m.ob.) 
made just a 3rd county record; another was in 
the Bay at Thomas Pt. Lighthouse, Anne Arun- 
del, MD 19 Sep (ph. MGg, fide TB). 

An aberrant ad. Laughing Gull at C.B.B.T. 
13-18 Sep (m.ob.) showed an orange-red bill 
base and legs and was initially reported as a 
Black-headed Gull. Similar birds have been 
documented in recent winters in Florida and 
Mexico. A second-cycle Franklin’s Gull was a 
nice find at Sandy Point S.E, Anne Arundel 17 
Oct (ph. BH). A first-cycle Little Gull was at 
Schoolhouse Pond, Prince George’s 3 Sep (FS); 
an ad. was at Ocean City Inlet, Worcester 26 
Nov 0H). Single ad. Black-headed Gulls were 
at Depot Pond, Prince George’s 11-12 Nov (ML, 
FS) and at Ocean City Inlet, Worcester 26-28 
Nov QH, m.ob.). Back Bay and False Cape S.P., 
Virginia Beach, VA hosted 389 Lesser Black- 
backed Gulls 24 Sep (DLH, SDa); such counts 
have become routine here in recent years but 
are still among the very highest concentrations 
known in North America. An ad. Black-legged 
Kittiwake roosting on the beach at Assat. 13 
Nov (TF, JM) was surprising; almost all on- 
shore records involve juv. birds. 

The astonishing 811 Caspian Terns at Hog 
23 Aug (BT) more than doubled the previous 
Virginia high count. A Kiptopeke Challenge 
team tallied 250 Sandwich Terns at 
E.S.V.N.W.R. 25 Sep (RLAk, ABa, DC). Less 
than annual in Nov in Maryland, 2 Common 
Terns were at George I. Landing, Worcester 5 
Nov (ph. RG). More typically seen offshore, 
an Arctic Tern pleased observers at Skimmer 
I., Worcester 23 Aug (p.a., ML, BH). Some 255 
Least Terns were at Bethel Beach, Mathews, 
VA 13 Aug (G&RH). Hurricane Ear! pro- 
duced 3 Sooty Terns at Ocean City Inlet, 
Worcester 3 Sep (ML, m.ob.). The 28 Black 
Terns at Piscataway Park, Prince George’s 17 
Aug (RO) were the season’s high inland 
count. A Black Tern at Blue Mash, Mont- 
gomery 10 Oct (ph. JF) was notable inland 


and slightly late. Always rare in the Bay, a 
dark-morph Pomarine Jaeger was seen from 
Lucy Pt., Talbot 22 Aug (HTA). 

DOVES THROUGH GMATCATCHER 

Single White-Winged Doves were at Temper- 
anceville, Accomack 6 Nov (SB et al.) and 
Kipt. 23 Nov (ZP, BCh). The 17th annual 
C.C.B. Northern Saw-whet Owl monitoring 
project banded 77 new owls at three sites in 
lower Northampton 28 Oct+ and captured 2 
Saw-whets previously banded in Vermont and 
at Assat. (fide FSm). Two migrant Chuck- 
will’s-widows were seen jostling for a day 
roost predawn at Cape Charles, Northampton 
28 Sep (ESB). An Eastern Whip-poor-will at 
Foreman’s Branch B.O., Queen Anne’s 19 Sep 
(MG) was likely a fall migrant, as the species 
does not breed at this location; one sang near 
Roxbury, Charles City 21 Sep (BW). An ap- 
parent Chimney Swift was at Kipt. 13 Nov 
(HTA); such late birds should be carefully 
scrutinized, as extralimital Vaux’s or other 
Chaetura could appear. 

Late Ruby-throated Hummingbirds on the 
Coastal Plain included singles 21 Nov in Vir- 
ginia Beach (RH) and at Kipt. (ph. ZP). An- 
other at Lyndhurst 4-29 Nov (TSh, ph. AL) 
was just the 3rd Nov Augusta record. An ad. 
male Black-chinned Hummingbird at a Pulas- 
ki feeder 8-11 Nov (ph. MM) was only the 3rd 
documented state record and the first outside 
the Coastal Plain. At least 9 Rufous/Allen’s 
Hummingbirds were reported 29 Sep-i-, in- 
cluding single ad. male Rufous at Wood- 
bridge, Prince William 29 Sep-30 Oct (ph. TA, 


m.ob.) and at Hinton, Rockingham, VA 
around 14 Nov (G63:JS, ph. BTe). An Allen’s 
Hummingbird visiting a a Chester, Chester- 
field feeder 20 Nov-i- (ph. JK, m.ob.) was 
trapped 26 Nov (BP, DHo) and determined to 
be a hatch-year female, a 3rd state record. An 
early Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was at 
Weyanoke Sanctuary, Norfolk 13 Sep (ABa). 

An early Olive-sided Flycatcher stopped at 
Bryan Park, Richmond, VA 1 Aug (SR, RAS). A 
Say’s Phoebe photographed at Terrapin Nature 
Park, Queen Anne’s 29 Oct OCu, JH, m.ob.) es- 
tablished a 3rd state record. An Ash-throated 
Flycatcher made a brief appearance at Kipt. 18 
Nov (CB, ZP); another was at Assat. 27 Nov+ 
(JH, m.ob.). A Western Kingbird flew past 
Kipt. 29 Oct QRu, SE); singles were also at As- 
sat. 30 Oct (JLS) and Pt. Lookout, St. Mary’s 20 
Nov (ML, JHu). The last Eastern Kingbird was 
at Rockwood Beach, Anne Arundel 15 Oct 
(BH). A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at Windmere 
Farms, Dorchester 10 Sep (GR) was the sea- 
son’s only report. A wintering Loggerhead 
Shrike was in Virginia Beach 21 Nov-i- (DC, ph. 
K&TK, DM, m.ob.), where the species had not 
been reported since Mar 1978. Five Northern 
Shrikes were noted between four sites in Mary- 
land: Chino Farms, Queen Anne’s 20 OcH- (DS, 
MG, m.ob.) for the 4th consecutive fall; 2 at 
the Irvine Nature Center, Baltimore 11-16 Nov 
(TH, m.ob.); one at Assat. 13 Nov-r (RG, MWa, 
m.ob.); and one along Russell Rd., Garrett 20 
Nov (JLS et al). A White-eyed Vireo pho- 
tographed at Budds Cr., Charles 6 Nov was late 
(RO, MO, TO). A Bell’s Vireo banded at 
E.S.VN.W.R. 19 Sep (NB, ph. TJ, CP) estab- 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


53 




MIDDLE ATLANTIC 


lished a first confirmed state record. A singing 
Warbling Vireo was surprising at Newport 
News Park, Newport News, VA 6 Sep (NF). It 
was a good fall for migrant Philadelphia Vire- 
os, with at least two-dozen reports of singles 9 
Sep-8 Oct, with 2 at Weyanoke Sanctuary, 
Norfolk 13 Sep (ABa) and 2 at Chine. 16 Sep 
(JE) the highest counts. 

The Purple Martin roost at Shockoe Bot- 
tom, Richmond peaked at about 14,000 in 
mid-Aug (SR et al.). A Northern Rough- 
winged Swallow dawdled at Kipt. 3 Nov (BT), 
and a Cliff Swallow remained at Bell’s Lane, 
Staunton, VA 7 Oct (AL). Aside from the late 
Oct birds at Chine., a few Cave Swallows ap- 
peared along the coast 7 Nov-i-, with a peak 
count of 10 at Craney 18 Nov (BT et al.). Two 
at Pt. Lookout, St. Maiy’s 20 Nov (ML et al.) 
provided the only record away from the im- 
mediate coast. A few Black-capped Chick- 
adees moved onto the n. Piedmont and adja- 
cent Coastal Plain, as in 2005-2006. About a 
dozen were at Snickers Gap, Clarke/Loudoun, 
VA 13 Oct (TMD), and one was at Jug Bay, 
Prince George’s 11 Nov-i- (ph. JS). Red-breast- 
ed Nuthatches staged the usual alternate-year 
invasion mid-Scp+, with 39 moving north- 
ward at Sunset Beach, Northampton 8 Oct 
(ESB) the high count. A Sedge Wren sang at 
Back Bay 31 Aug (NE); nesting has not been 
recorded here since the 1970s. Single Sedge 
Wrens were good Piedmont finds in s. Albe- 
marle 28 Sep (SM) and Powhatan, VA 5 Oct 
(WE). Single Sedge Wrens were in Maryland 
at Chino Farms, Queen Anne’s 27 Aug (DS, 
MG) and at Sands Rd. Park, Anne Arundel 30 
Oct (MO, m.ob.). Exceptionally high tides 
concentrated 35-40 Marsh Wrens in a lower 
Northampton marsh 2 Oct (ESm et al). Some 
212 Ruby-crowned Kinglets were counted mi- 
grating northward at Sunset Beach, 
Northampton 8 Oct (ESB). A Blue-gray Gnat- 
catcher at Ft. Smallwood, Anne Amndel 31 
Oct-1 Nov (BH) was getting late. 

THRUSHES THROUGH FINCHES 

The Fredericksburg Birding Club discovered a 
one-day-wonder Northern Wheatear at the 
Chincoteague, Accomack causeway 2 Oct (vt., 
ph. PN et al), only the 6th state record and 
the first since 15 Oct 1995. Four BicknelTs 
Thrushes were banded at Kipt. 3-12 Oct (CB) 
and 3 at E.S.V.N.W.R. 6-23 Oct (fide FSm); 
such numbers represent a fraction of counts 
from decades past. A Swainson’s Thrush was a 
bit early at Morris Cr., Charles City 4 Sep 
(NF), though this is a typical early date for 
birds heard in nocturnal migration in s. 
Northampton. An ad. Cedar Waxwing seen 
feeding young in a nest at McCormick’s Mill, 
Augusta 15 Sep QKi) made an exceptionally 


r A Spanning the mid-Atlantic states from New Jersey to the Carolina Outer Banks, a strong flight of mostly short-distance 
3 Amigrants hit the coast on the morning of 29 Oct. Although counts of birds at Cape May, NJ were much higher than any 
in this Region, estimates of several species represented record-high Regional numbers. 

Jennifer Elmer, birding Chine, for just four hours in the morning, was the only birder who witnessed the fallout there, with 
1500 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 1000 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 70 Brown Creepers, 30 White-breasted Nuthatches, 18 Eastern 
Phoebes, and 12 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers representing record-high counts for the refuge; the kinglet numbers dwarf any 
counts on record for the Region, and the White-breasted Nuthatch count was probably also the highest ever for coastal mi- 
grants (irruptions of this species reach the coast only rarely). Notable numbers of Northern Flickers (50), Pine Warblers (58), 
Palm Warblers (50), Yellow-rumped Warblers (5000), and American Robins (1200) were also evident in above-average num- 
bers, and 2 Cave Swallows flew over Snow Goose Pool, the first of the season. However, the diverse fallout of sparrows and 
other granivores was perhaps most remarkable part of the Chine, observations: 89 Chipping, 2 Clay-coiored, 10 Field, 3 Ves- 
per, 1 Lark, 29 Savannah, 23 Seaside, 65 Song, 5 Lincoln's, 47 Swamp, 79 White-throated, and 5 White-crowned Sparrows 
were logged, plus 3000-1- Dark-eyed Juncos, 16 Eastern Towhees, 12 Snow Buntings, and a Dickeisset. (Of interest, the counts 
of White-crowned, Clay-colored, and Vesper appeared to remain elevated well into winter in much of the mid-Atlantic.) The 
season's irrupting n. finches. Purple Finch (38) and Pine Siskin (29), were also tallied in strong numbers by Elmer. 

Andrew Baldelli, birding the Willoughby and Ocean View sections of Norfolk, saw most of the flight pass in the first four 
hours of daylight — 2500 Yellow-rumped Warblers, hundreds of American Robins and Northern Flickers, 1 00 Golden-crowned 
Kinglets, a late Veery, 3 Gray-cheeked Thrushes, as well as scores of sparrows on urban laws, including, near Captains Quar- 
ters Park, the city's first Le Conte's Sparrow (ph.) and first Clay-colored Sparrow among 10 White-crowned, 94 Chipping, 25 
Savannah, 30 Field, 150 White-throated, 3 Swamp, and 15 Song Sparrows. In the afternoon, a female Northern Cardinal was 
on the C.B.B.T. (ESB), where there is but a single prior record; Northampton was not birded until well after noon, well after 
fallout birds had dispersed, though 20 Eastern Phoebes, a Lincoln's Sparrow, and many other sparrows were still present 
around Sunset Beach. Autumn fallouts of sparrows are not unusual on the coast, but very few involve more than 16 species 
(12 Oct 1980 was a memorable exception, with single Henslow's and Bachman's on the C.B.B.T.). 


late breeding record. 

Four Lapland Longspurs were among 20 
Horned Larks at Leedstown, Westmoreland 13 
Nov (FA). Single Lapland Longspurs were at 
Shenandoah N.R, Warren, VA 13 Nov (GK, 
MAK) and at Rumbley Pt., Somerset 6-9 Nov 
(ph. MJ). Snow Bunting flocks included 12 at 
Chine. 29 Oct QE) and 19 at Craney 29 Nov 
(SD et al); 2 were at Queen Sound, Accomack 
6 Nov (SB et al); and singles were at Swan 
Cr., Anne Arundel 2 Nov (SA, EC), Cape 
Charles 6 Nov (Ryan Kelley, TMD, ESB), and 
at Willow L., n. Rockbridge, VA 11 Nov (DR). 
Notably late warblers included a Tennessee 
Warbler at Blue Mash, Montgomery 3 Nov 
QM); a Magnolia Warbler at Choptank, Talbot 
12 Nov (DS); and a Blackpoll Warbler banded 
at Kipt. 12 Nov (CB). A Nashville Warbler in 
Augusta 29 Aug (AL) re-set the earliest coun- 
ty fall record by several days. Strong westerly 
winds 7 Oct that shifted to lighter north 
winds overnight yielded an impressive fallout 
of migrants at Sunset Beach, Northampton 8 
Oct, including 263 Black-throated Blue War- 
blers (ESB). An unexpected Cerulean Warbler 
was at Bryan Park, Richmond 1 Aug (SR, 
RAS); another was at Terrapin Nature Park, 
Queen Annck 16 Sep Ql-S, EB). A rare fall tran- 
sient, 4 Connecticut Warblers were banded at 
Kipt. 27 Sep-4 Oct (CB), and 11 were banded 
at E.S.VN.W.R. 14 Sep-23 Oct (fide FSm). 

A Scarlet Tanager lingered at Halifax 26-27 
Oct OB)- A Cassin’s Sparrow photographed 


at Pt. Lookout, St Mary’s 26-28 Sep (p.a., ML, 
m.ob.) was a first state and Regional record. 
Eight Clay-colored Sparrows were reported 6 
Oct-6 Nov, and eight reports of Lark Spar- 
rows spanned 3 Sep-29 Oct; most of these 
were in the Coastal Plain. Two Le Conte’s 
Sparrows were in Howard 16 Oct: one at the 
University of Maryland Central Farm (ph. 
BO, DHa et al.), the other at Waterford Farm 
(BO et al). A Savannah Sparrow at Craney 19 
Aug (BT, AM) was well ahead of the species’ 
usual mid-Sep arrival. The Center for Conser- 
vation Biology crew banded 55 Nelson’s, 49 
Saltmarsh, and 12 Seaside Sparrows through 
30 Nov (FSm et al), with hundreds more 
banded Dec-Mar. Notable Nelson’s in Mary- 
land included singles at Swan Cr., Anne Arun- 
del 15 Oct (SA) and at University of Maryland 
Central Farm, Howard 16-23 Oct (BO et al), 
where another was seen 18 Oct. Six Lincoln’s 
Sparrows at Thrashers L., Amherst, VA 26 Oct 
(MJ) made a local high count; 2 at Swoope, 
Augusta 9 Sep (AL) were early. A White- 
throated Sparrow at Shenandoah N.P., Rock- 
ingham 1 Aug (DL) was extraordinarily early 
and had almost certainly summered. 

A male Rose-breasted Grosbeak hung on at 
a Richmond feeder 12-13 Nov (BSa). A Blue 
Grosbeak lingered at Amelia W.M.A., Amelia, 
VA 24 Oct (WE et al). An Indigo Bunting at 
Sunset Beach, Northampton 6 Nov (AD, PG, 
TT) was just three days shy of the species’ 9 
Nov extreme late date for the state. Single 


54 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



MIDDLE ATLANTIC 


Dickdssels were seen into Nov at Turkey Pt., 
Cecil 2 Nov (SMc), in s. Albemarle 3 Nov 
(SM), and at Foreman’s Branch B.O., Queen 
Anne’s, 9-23 Nov (MG, DS). 

An imm. male Yellow-headed Blackbird 
was at Craney 21 Aug (ABa) and an imm. fe- 
male there 16 Sep (BT, RB, BW). Another 
imm. female visited Lynnhaven Inlet, Virginia 
Beach 26-29 Sep (NF, JSh; ph. KK), and in 
Maryland, one was at Long Neck Rd., St. 
Mary’s 15-17 Oct (PC, m.ob.). Notable Rusty 
Blackbird flocks totaled 30 at Danville, VA 13 
Nov (MF et al.) and 36 at Greensprings Trail, 
James City 13 Nov (BW). Five Brewer’s Black- 
birds mingled with about 100 blackbirds near 
Aldie, Fauquier, VA 7 Nov (BL). A female 
Boat-tailed Crackle at Ft. Smallwood, Anne 
Arundel 14 Aug (BH) was unexpectedly far n. 
in the Bay. An Orchard Oriole at Lyndhurst, 
Augusta 2 Oct (AL) was exceptionally late, 
particularly for the Mountains and Valleys. 
Single Baltimore Orioles were at Governor’s 
Land, James City 28 Nov (ph. CO) and Wind- 
mere Farms, Dorchester the same day (GR). A 
White-winged Crossbill at Hart 8 Nov (RFR 
et al.) and a Common Redpoll at Chine. 24 
Nov QE) made the season’s sole reports. Pur- 
ple Finches were reported across the Region 
in irruption-year numbers, with double-digit 
counts widespread Oct-early Dec. Pine 
Siskins at Kipt. 1 1-12 Oct (CB, BW) were pre- 
cursors of a sustained movement through the 



Ken Blankenship 

A bove-average temperatures continued 
to dominate the weather pattern into 
early October, while precipitation was 
truly “feast or famine.” Some areas remained 
abnormally dry, receiving less than 50% of av- 
erage annual rainfall, while others were virtu- 
ally saturated. Exemplifying the latter phe- 


season. Pine Siskins were common along the 
Virginia Eastern Shore 29 Oct-1 Nov, with as 
many as 60 per day. The season’s only 
Evening Grosbeak was a female at Compton 
Mt., Buchanan, VA 30 Nov (ph. RM). 

Contributors: Robert L. Ake, Tara Angyal, 
Henry T. Armistead, Stan Arnold, Fred At- 
wood, Andrew Baldelli (ABa), Nathan Banfield, 
Scott Barnes, Ruth Beck, Tyler Bell, Jeff Blalock, 
Arun Bose, Mike & Joy Bowen, Ed Boyd, 
Calvin Brennan, Dave Brinker, Edward S. 
Brinkley, Mike Callahan, Ed Carlson, Bob 
Chapman (BCh), David Clark, Thomas Coffey, 
Patty Craig, Dan Cristol, Jeff Culler OCu), 
Dave Czaplak (DCz), Lynn Davidson, Sarah 
Davis (SDa), Fenton Day, Todd M. Day, John 
Dennehy, Shirley Devan, Adam D’Onofrio, Sam 
Dyke (SDy), Wendy Ealding, Shannon Ehlers, 
Walter Ellison (WEI), Jennifer Elmer, Elisa En- 
ders, Tom Feild, Jared Fisher, Nick Flanders, 
Mary Foster, Kurt Gaskill, Maren Gimpel, Paul 
Glass, Mike Goodison (MGo), Kevin Graff 
(KGr), Paul Guris (PGu), Ron Gutberlet, Dan 
Haas (DHa), Joe Hanfman, George & Rose- 
marie Harris, Alice Hecht, Bill Hill (BHi), Rob 
Hilton (RHi), David Holmes (DHo), Tim 
Houghton, Barbara Houston, John Hubbell 
QHu), Bill Hubick, Renee Hudgins, David L. 
Hughes, George Jett, Mark Johnson, Todd 
Jones, Julie Kacmareik, Karen & Tom Kearney, 
Roberta Kellam, Jo King OKI). Glenn Koppel & 


nomenon was a moisture-fed stationary low 
affecting northeastern South Carolina and 
eastern North Carolina. This system was 
capped off by the passage of Tropical Storm 
Nicole in late September, which affected some 
pelagic bird species. Temperatures began to 
stabilize somewhat by late October, a sharp 
November cold snap being one exception; se- 
vere weather late in the former month pro- 
duced interesting shorebird fallouts and de- 
posited an extraordinary number of Franklin’s 
Gulls in western Georgia. 

Abbreviations: C.L.R.L. (Carter’s Lake Re- 
regulation L., Murray, GA); M.N.W.R. (Matta- 
muskeet N.W.R., Hyde, NC); PI.N.WR. (Pea 
Island N.W.R., Dare, NC); S.S.S. (Savannah 
Spoil Site, Jasper, SC). 

WATERFOWL THROUGH WADERS 

Away from the core breeding population at Al- 
tamaha W.M.A., GA, 2 Black-bellied 


Mary Alice Koeneke, Vic Laubach, Brad ban- 
ning (BLa), Alan Lamer, Bev Leeuwenberg, Ed 
& Nancy Lawler, Diane Lepkowski, Ed Lowe, 
Mikey Lutmerding, Linda Mack (LMa), Nancy 
Martin, Larry Meade, Frank Marenghi, David 
Matson, Roger Mayhorn, Sean McCandless 
(SMc), Stauffer Miller, Alex Minarik, James 
Moore, Greg Moyers, Mark Mullins, Chris 
Murray, Paul Nasca, Carol O’Neil, Mike Os- 
trowski, Robert Ostrowski, Tom Ostrowski, 
Bonnie Ott, Bruce Peterjohn, Jim Peters, Caro- 
line Poli, Zak Poulton, George Radcliffe, Jan 
Reese, Marc Ribaudo, Richmond Audubon So- 
ciety, Sue Ridd, Robert E Ringler, Dick Rowe, 
Jethro Runco O^u), Betsy Saunders (BSa), 
Mark Schilling, Lauren Schneider, Debbie 
Schroeder (DSc), Sharon Schwemmer, Fred 
Shaffer, John Shaw QSh), Jeff Shenot, Tom 
Shoemaker (TSh), Gil & Josie Showalter, Dan 
Small, Fletcher Smith (FSm), Pamela Smith, 
James L. Stasz, Brian Taber, Brenda Tekin (BTe), 
Tina Trice, Barry Truitt (BTr), Lucy Uncu, Jim 
Waggener, Ralph Wall, Mike Walsh (MWa), 
Bryan Watts (BWa), Hal Wierenga, Bill 
Williams, Michael Wilson, Lisa Yntema, Rob & 
Chrystal Young, Sammy Zambon. 


MarkT. Adams, 2300 Rocky Run 
Charlottesville, Virginia 22901 
(markaclamsphd@yahoo.com) 

Matt Hafner, 2163 Historic Drive 

Forest Hill, Maryland 21050, (mhl920@aoLcom) 

Southern Atlantic I 


Whistling-Ducks were in Lowndes 16 Aug 
(BBe) and 4 in Baker, GA 27 Sep (TL, WS). 
Breeding was conflrmed at Phinizy Swamp 
Nature Park, Richmond, GA, where 2 ads. and 
7 downy young were discovered 5 Sep (ph. 
CF) and last recorded 20 Nov (LS); this repre- 
sents the farthest inland nesting in the Region. 
A resident blue-morph Snow Goose was re- 
ported throughout the period in Morgan and 
Walton, GA (m.ob.). Region-wide, there were 
five reports of Ross’s Geese. A Barnacle Goose 
was in Greensboro, NC 1 Nov (DB). Two Mute 
Swans at PI.N.WR. 8-9 Oct (S&RM) appear to 
be permanent residents in the area; a summer- 
ing Tundra Swan at the refuge was last report- 
ed 6-9 Aug (PE). Annual rarities in ne. North 
Carolina, single Eurasian Wigeons were at 
PI.N.WR. 9 Nov O&PW) and on the Bodie Is- 
land Lighthouse Pond 13 & 21 Nov (RD, HW 
et al). A very high count of 350 Northern 
Shovelers was recorded at Andrews I., GA 27 
Nov (EK). A White-cheeked Pintail of un- 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


55 


SOUTHERN ATLANTIC 



In 201 0, Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks were confirmed nesting far inland 
in Richmond County, Georgia, where this family was photographed on 5 
September. Photograph by Charlie Ferguson. 



Providing a rare record of summering was this Common Eider, present 
from spring through August 2010 (here 1 August) at Oregon Inlet, Dare 
County, North Carolina. Photograph by Jeff Lewis. 



In contrast to the far-reaching dispersal of 2009, the northernmost record 
of Roseate Spoonbill in the Southeast in 2010 was of four at Huntington 
Beach State Park, South Carolina (here 14 September). Photograph by 
Jerry Kerschner. 



In recent years. Magnificent Frigatebirds have appeared increasingly often In summer and fall on the coasts of 
the Carolinas and Georgia. This adult male was found near Fort Fisher, North Carolina 10 October 2010. Photo- 
graph by Harry Sell. 



Part a notable southern irruption of the species in late 2010, this Rough-legged Hawk wintering in Henderson 
County, North Carolina (here 27 November) provided the only autumn record of the species in the Southern 
Atlantic region. Photograph by Jon Smith. 


known provenance was at Pl.N.W.R. 4-18 Oct (fide JL); the North Carolina Bird 
Records Committee accepted the identihcation but did not endorse the record as re- 
ferring certainly to a wild bird. Only one Long-tailed Duck was reported, inland at 
C.L.R.L. 8 Nov (TH). An extraordinary 1200 Ruddy Ducks at Andrews I., GA 27 Nov 
(EK) easily eclipsed any previous single-site count in the state. Several Common Ei- 
ders from summer remained at Oregon Inlet and Cape Point, Buxton, NC (ph. JL, AW, 
m.ob.), remnants of the large invasion of the previous winter. 

Six Northern Bobwhites visited feeders in Manteo, NC 4 Oct, with one present 18 
Oct (both JL); the species is scarce on the Outer Banks but still relatively common in 
mainland Dare. Indicative of a persisting population were 5-r Ring-necked Pheasants 
on the Core Banks near Cape Lookout, NC 5 Nov (SSo). A new state high count of 
175 Pied-billed Grebes was recorded at L. Seminole, GA 28 Nov (KB), while all three 
sightings of Red-necked Grebes came from North Carolina. Single dark-morph Her- 
ald (Trinidade) Petrels were recorded off Hatteras, NC 1 & 8 Aug (BPI, KM et ah), 


56 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


SOUTHERN ATLANTIC 




Only the state's sixth ever, this Say's Phoebe flitted among driftwood on the beach at Bald Head Island, North 
Carolina on 3 September 2010. Photograph by Maureen Dewire. 


ing at Sunset Beach, NC 30 Nov 
(GM). Roseate Spoonbill highlights 
included 2 inland birds in Laurens, 
GA 14 Aug (RS, JKn); several n. to 
Huntington Beach S.R, SC Aug-Sep 
QK, m.ob.); and a high count of 92 
at the S.S.S. 29 Sep (SC). 


Present since 21 October 2010, this immature male Orchard Oriole making 
an extremely rare wintering attempt is shown here on 2 December, after a 
night of subfreezing temperatures. Photograph by Richard Hall. 


while a Black-bellied Storm-Petrel there pro- 
vided only the 4th state record 14 Aug (BPI, 
ph. KS). A species becoming more regular in 
the Region’s coastal waters, an ad. male Mag- 
nificent Frigatebird was near Ft. Fisher, NC 
10 Oct (ph. HS, m.ob.). Back for a 3rd winter 
was an ad. Great Cormorant at L. Walter F 
George, GA 11 Nov (EB). An impressive 325 
American White Pelicans provided a new 
state high count at L. Seminole, GA 28 Nov 
(KB), and PI.N.WR. had counts in the 60-70 
range by Oct (AW et al). Notable among nu- 
merous coastal Reddish Egret sightings in all 
three states were 2 white morphs at St. Si- 
mons 1., GA 7 Aug QaF) and one still linger- 


RAPTORS THROUGH TERNS 

Hawkwatches produced several noteworthy 
counts of southbound Broad-winged Hawks: 
869 at Pilot Mt., NC 17 Sep (PD); 1114 at 
Caesars Head, SC 20 Sep OC et al.); and 1498 
at Mt. Pisgah, NC 24 Sep (YG). A juv. Swain- 
son’s Hawk spotted at Alligator River N.W.R., 


NC 10 Nov (GM, HS) may have been the 
same individual found there later in the win- 
ter. A Rough-legged Hawk visited Henderson, 
NC 25 Nov+ (SR, ph. JSm, m.ob.). Three re- 
ports of Golden Eagles were all from North 
Carolina’s mts., as expected. Swallow-tailed 
Kites gathered in huge foraging flocks in s. 
Georgia, with a maximum of 75 recorded in 
Long 1 Aug (MM). A Black Rail was heard at 


. .f 

i 




Representing Georgia's third record of Snowy Plover was this juvenile on Cumberland Island 6 August 2010. 
Photograph by Patrick and Doris Leary. 


Another late fall migrant in downtown Atlanta in fall 2010, this immature 
Blackpoll Warbler was found in Centennial Olympic Park on 16 (here 20) 
November. Photograph by Richard Williams. 


A scarce migrant anywhere in Georgia, most often found along the coast, 
this early Clay-colored Sparrow was particularly noteworthy well inland in 
Murray County on 12 September 2010. Photograph by Mark McShane. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


57 


SOUTHERN ATLANTIC 


Roanoke 1., Dare, NC 12 Aug (EE, NEl), and 
a wayward Clapper Rail was found dead on a 
sidewalk in Gwinnett, GA 22 Sep (ph. PA), 
only about the 5th known inland record. An 
excellent count of 28 (12 ad. and 16 juv.) Pur- 
ple Gallinules came from Eufaula N.W.R., GA 
5 Sep OFl)- The highest count of migrating 
Sandhill Cranes was a whopping 4103 over 
Ben ien, GA 27 Nov (WS). 

Shorebirding was excellent Region-wide, 
featuring several rarities, weather-affected 
birds, and interesting data provided by biolo- 
gists. A juv. Snowy Plover flocked with band- 
ed Piping Plovers on Cumberland 1., GA 6 
Aug to provide the state’s 3rd record (ph. 
D&PL); one again appeared on Kiawah I., SC 

10 Aug-4 Sep (AG, m.ob.). A high count of 
400 American Oystercatchers were on Little 
Egg Island Bar, GA 13 Oct (CM et al), locat- 
ed in the globally significant staging area 
around the mouth of the Altamaha R.; out of 
64 found on Tybee 1., GA 24 Nov (DC), 7 
were banded: 3 from Massachusetts, 2 from 
New Jersey, and 2 from Virginia. American 
Avocets appeared inland at several sites in 
Georgia, some of these possibly displaced or 
put down by weather events: from one to 4 in 
Gordon 18 Sep-13 Oct (JSp, m.ob.); 8 in 
Athens 27 Sep (RH, m.ob.); and 2 in Musco- 
gee 20 Oct (WC). Upland Sandpipers were 
widely reported, with a maximum of 29 at the 
annually reliable sod farm in Macon, GA 8 
Aug O^F). A male Whimbrel nicknamed 
“Chinquapin” htted with a satellite transmit- 
ter in Georgia staged on the Hudson Bay, ON 
until 6 Aug; two days later, the bird was over 
open ocean 482 km e. of Bermuda, having 
skirted Tropical Storm Colin' on 10 Aug, the 
bird arrived in Puerto Rico, having flown 
4484 km in five days; finally, after refueling 
for two weeks, the bird reached wintering 
grounds in Suriname 27 Sep (BW, TK, Geor- 
gia Department of Natural Resources). A 
Whimbrel atop Big Bald Mt., NC 16-21 Sep 
(RM et al.) was remarkable, though such 
high-elevation grassy balds may offer some 
similarities to the tundra breeding habitat of 
the species. Also very rare inland was a Long- 
billed Curlew in grassy helds in Henderson, 
NC 29 Aug-2 Sep (S&DC, PS, m.ob.). Single 
Hudsonian Godwits were at Oregon Inlet, NC 
12 Aug and 1 Oct (AW); near Aurora, NC 8 
Oct (AG, SS); and at P.I.N.W.R. 6 & 10 Nov 
(GM). Over 300 Marbled Godwits provided a 
noteworthy count on Shackleford Banks, NC 

1 1 Sep OFu, AWi et al). 

Easily the shorebird of the year, a Sharp- 
tailed Sandpiper was found on the beach at 
Ft. Fisher, NC 15 Oct (GM, ph. HS, AWi, MJ); 
this individual provided the hrst photograph- 
ic evidence of this species for the Region. 


There were six reports of juv. Baird’s Sand- 
pipers. At least 8 Purple Sandpipers had ar- 
rived at the annual wintering site on Tybee I., 
GA by 24 Nov (DC). Buff-breasted Sandpipers 
were widely reported, with a maximum of 1 1 
in Bartow, GA 19 Sep (KB). An astounding 
794 Long-billed Dowitchers at the S.S.S. 21 
Oct (SC) provided a new high count for the 
Region, while 58 grounded by severe storms 
in Bartow, GA 27 Oct (KB) represented a new 
state high count. It was a very productive sea- 
son for Wilson’s Phalaropes, with a total of 1 1 
sightings and a high count of 1 1 at Andrews I., 
GA 8 Aug (EK); Red-necked Phalaropes were 
found on the coast on Kiawah I., SC 2 Oct 
(AGi); at Ft. Fisher, NC 5-7 Oct (MD et al.); 
on Raccoon Key, GA 9 Oct (NF et al); and at 
the S.S.S. 16 Oct (SC). Very rarely recorded in- 
land, a Red Phalarope was seen briefly but 
well on a pond in Cobb, GA 5 Nov (DHe). 

A juv. Black-legged Kittiwake cruised 
around Bodie Island Lighthouse Pond, NC 13 
Nov (KF et al). A powerful storm system that 
pushed eastward across the continent deliv- 
ered an incredible 42 Franklin’s Gulls to West 
Point Dam, GA 27 Oct (WC) and 10 to the 
lake at Tidwell Park, Forsyth, GA the same 
day OFl); at least one remained at the former 
location 30 Oct QaE PM). A very early juv. 
Glaucous Gull flocked with other gulls be- 
hind a shrimp trawler off Morehead City, NC 
9 Nov (ph. FSB et al). A high count of 85 
Caspian Terns came from Little St. Simons L, 
GA 3 Oct (CG). Birds affected by Tropical 
Storm Nicole included a moribund Sooty Tern 
found in Carteret, NC 30 Sep (CA) and 2 
Common Terns deposited far inland on L. Ju- 
lian, NC 27 Sep (WF). 

DOVES THROUGH FINCHES 

A Common Ground-Dove in Clarke, GA 10 
Oct (ph. RH) provided one of the northern- 
most well-documented records in the state. 
There were four reports of White-winged 
Dove. A Northern Saw-whet Owl was first de- 
tected at a wintering site on Bodie L, NC 9 
Nov (GM), while another was banded in 
Lamar, GA 28 Nov (CM). A high count of 
1768 Chimney Swifts was notable in Way- 
cross, GA 10 Sep (SW), at a significant roost 
site that has been in use since at least 1988. 
There were six reports of Olive-sided Fly- 
catcher. Alder Flycatchers have been consid- 
ered quite rare migrants in the Region, as 
most have been identified only as 
Willow/Alder in the past. This season, nu- 
merous Alders were well documented in 
Georgia: 3 in Habersham 29 Aug OFl); 2 at the 
American Proteins settling ponds, Forsyth 4 
Sep 0Fl)i one at Henderson Park, DeKalb 20 
Sep QSe); one at the Cochran Shoals Unit of 


the Chattahoochee River National Recreation 
Area 23 Sep (KB); and one in Catoosa 19 Sep 
(DH). North Carolina’s 5th Say’s Phoebe for- 
aged along the wrack line on the beach at Bald 
Head 1. 3 Sep (ph. MD); equally surprising 
was a male Vermilion Flycatcher in Clayton, 
GA 17 -Sep (CL). Rare but annual in late fall 
and winter to e. and s. reaches of the Region, 
an Ash-throated Flycatcher was a one-day 
wonder at the Archie Elledge W.T.F in Win- 
ston-Salem, NC 26 Nov (RMo). There were 
six sightings of Western Kingbird, and a very 
impressive 292 Eastern Kingbirds were 
recorded in just 10 minutes over Jekyll I., GA 
7 Sep (BBe, MHa). Gray Kingbirds remained 
at several known nesting areas in coastal 
Georgia through mid-Sep. 

Single Bell’s Vireos were reported from Fol- 
ly L, SC 19 Sep QFa) and at Falls L, NC 12 
Oct (BB); the latter may represent the farthest 
inland record for that state. Warbling Vireos 
were well represented by seven total sightings, 
including one at Pl.N.WR. 11 Sep OF), very 
rare for the Outer Banks. The annual move- 
ment of Cave Swallows was scarcely repre- 
sented this fall: one was at P.I.N.W.R. 20 Nov 
(HW); 3 were at Oak L, NC 27 Nov (MT); and 
one was at Jekyll L, GA 27 Nov (]T). Red- 
breasted Nuthatches staged an early if limited 
irruption into the Region beginning in Oct. 
Quite noteworthy for a single site was a tally 
of 53 Winter Wrens along Cook’s Trail, Clarke, 
GA 7 Nov QM): establishing a new state high 
count. A family of Cedar Waxwings was at 
Roanoke Rapids L., NC 29 Aug (RD); nesting 
of this species is notable away from the moun- 
tains. A Lapland Longspur was at Pl.N.WR. 
11 Nov (RD), and another was in Concord, 
NC 28-29 (ph. JeL, RC). Snow Buntings had 
quite a showing: 2 at P.I.N.W.R. 11 Nov (RD); 
2 at Oregon Inlet, NC 13-14 Nov (RD et al); 
one at the Rachel Carson Reserve, NC 24 Nov 
QFu); one near Engelhard, NC 25 Nov (BM); 
and one at Huntington Beach S.P., SC 25 Nov 
OP et al). 

A Black-throated Gray Warbler in Catoosa, 
GA 16 Sep (DH) represented the state’s 6th 
record, while a Kirtland’s Warbler at Cowan’s 

Neotropical migrants were once again discovered 
in tiny, urban Centennial Olympic Park in down- 
town Atlanta, GA, though the numbers and diversity were 
not as remarkable as in the previous fall. This year, the 
phenomenon began a bit later but again included several 
remarkable records: a Tennessee Warbler 2-13 Oct and 2 
more 16 Nov-16 Dec; an imm. Blackpoll Warbler 16 
Nov-10 Dec; a Prothonotary Warbler 18 Nov-7 Dec; 
up to 2 Ovenbirds 1-6 Oct and another 16 Nov-11 Dec; 
and a Yellow-breasted Chat 16-24 Nov (all NF). 



58 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



SOUTHERN ATLANTIC 


Ford W.A., Mecklenburg, NC 27 Sep (ph. KM) 
provided that state’s 5th well-documented 
record. A one-day total of 40+ Bay-breasted 
Warblers at Devil’s Courthouse, NC 2 Oct 
(MW, MS) was remarkable for any season or 
location in our Region. Ten Cerulean Warblers 
made a high count at Kennesaw Mountain Na- 
tional Battlefield Park, GA 22 Aug (MH), and 
a very impressive one-day tally of 57 Northern 
Waterthrushes was recorded at the S.S.S. 16 
Sep (SC). There were two well-documented 
sightings of Connecticut Warblers and three 
of Mourning Warblers, both rare in any season 
and particularly so in fall. 

Noteworthy among six reports of Clay-col- 
ored Sparrow was one at C.L.R.L. 12 Sep (KB, 
m.ob.) that provided a new state early arrival 
date for fall, and a high count of 3 at 
P.I.N.W.R. 5 Oct Of-)- Ten reports of Lark 
Sparrows Region-wide made an above-average 
total. Le Conte’s Sparrows were again present 
at the Albany Nursery, Dougherty, GA starting 
in mid-Nov, a possible wintering site for this 
furtive species (ph. LG, m.ob.). An impressive 
1 1 sightings of Lincoln’s Sparrows came from 
across the Region, including several notewor- 
thy high counts: 6 in Watauga, NC 7 Oct (CS); 
4 in Henderson, NC 9 Oct (WF); and 4 in 
Gwinnett, GA 23 Oct QaL). A female Western 


Tanager visited feeders in Myrtle Beach, SC 
late Oct-1 Dec (fide GP), while an ad. male 
Rose-breasted Grosbeak was present in Gwin- 
nett, GA as late as 18 Nov (RT). An imm. male 
Orchard Oriole was in Athens, GA 21 Oct+ 
(ph. RH), despite subfreezing temperatures in 
late Nov. Harbingers of an irruptive winter 
season were Purple Finches and Pine Siskins, 
both of which started appearing in appreciable 
numbers by late Oct, including scattered re- 
ports well into Georgia’s coastal plain; quite 
interesting were daily observations of 5-20 of 
each species actively migrating around Ore- 
gon Inlet, NC 11-14 Nov (RD, m.ob.). Two 
Red Crossbills flew over observers in the Co- 
hutta W.A., Fannin, GA 9 Oct (KB). 

Contributors: (subregional editors in bold- 
face) Patrick Addy Claire Aubel, Eric Beohm, 
Brad Bergstrom (BBe), Ken Blankenship, Brian 
Bockhahn, Dennis Burnette, Steve Calver, Jeff 
Catlin, Walt Chambers, Diana Churchill, Ron 
Clark, Shelby & Donnie Coody, Ricky Davis, 
Maureen Dewire, Phil Dickinson, Elisa En- 
ders, Peggy Eubank, Jesse Eagan QF^). 
Nathan Farnau, Charlie Ferguson, Kent Fiala, 
Nick Flanders (NFl), James Fleullan O^F), 
Jim Flynn QFl), Wayne Forsythe, John Fussell 
OFu), A1 Gamache, Yusuf Gantt, Aaron Given 


(AGi), Caleb Gordon, Larry Gridley, Richard 
Hall, Margaret Harper (MHa), David Hedeen 
(DHe), Malcolm Hodges, David Hollie, Mark 
Jones, Eugene Keferl, Jerry Kerschner, Tim 
Keyes, Joshua Knight 0Kr>). Carol Lambert, 
Tod Lanier, Doris & Patrick Leary, Jeff Lemons 
(JeL), Jason Lewis O^L), Jeff Lewis, Greg 
Massey, Rad Mayfield, Patty McLean, Joel Mc- 
Neal, Mark McShane, Kevin Metcalf, Terry 
Moore, Ron Morris (RMo), Charlie Muise, Bri- 
an Murphy, Sandy Pangle, Brian Patteson, Inc. 
(BPI), James Petranka, Gary Phillips, Steve 
Ritt, Wayne Schaffner, Harry Sell, Paul Ser- 
ridge, Jeff Sewell QSe), Steve Shaffer, Robert 
Shuman, Mark Simpson, Curtis Smalling, 
Sharon & Rob Smart, Jon Smith QSm), Josh 
Southern, Joshua Spence QSp), Sterling 
Southern (SSo), Lois Stacey, Kate Sutherland, 
Jim Throckmorton, Mike Tove, Rusty Trump, 
Marilyn Westphal, Audrey Whitlock, Amy 
Williamson (AWi), Haven Wiley, Sheila Willis, 
Brad Winn, John & Paula Wright. A special 
thanks to the Non-Game Program, Wildlife 
Resources Division of the Georgia Department 
of Natural Resources. O 


Ken Blankenship, 2400 Barrett Creek Boulevard #827 
Marietta, Georgia 30066 
(kenhblankenship@comcast.net) 


Florida 


D/yTortug3sNPa 

•Key West 

Bruce H. Anderson 
Andy Bankert 


F lorida’s monsoon season usually tapers 
off in mid-September, but this fall, it 
concluded in August. Continuing daily 


temperatures in the 90s con- 
tributed to drought conditions 
throughout most of the state 
through November. Hurricanes 
Earl, Igor, and Julia passed far out 
in the Atlantic in September, 
bringing no relief to the state and 
raising the threat of wildfires. The 
closest storm, Earl, brought no 
rain but wind gusts of 35 knots as 
far inland as Orlando 3-4 Septem- 
ber. Throughout the peninsula, 
the lack of cold fronts through 
October caused migrants to pass 
mostly unnoticed. The hrst fronts 
of consequence brought unsea- 
sonably cold weather early, as 
during fall 2009, with frost re- 
ported south to Ocala in the cen- 
tral peninsula on 5 November. Unprecedent- 
ed for the panhandle coast, 35 shearwaters 
were counted among 1200 Northern Gannets 
by the Duncans at Port Pickens, Escambia 
County 15-16 November. Vagrants from the 
West Indies and western North America were 


in near-normal numbers, the most notable 
rarity of the season being the state’s fourth 
Cuban Pewee. 

Abbreviations/definitions: big bend (the part 
of Plorida from the Apalachicola R. through 
Jefferson); FLMNH (Florida State Museum of 
Natural History, Gainesville); L. Apopka (L. 
Apopka Restoration Area, Orange unless oth- 
erwise stated); panhandle (that part of Flori- 
da from the Apalachicola R. through Escam- 
bia); Paynes Prairie (Paynes Prairie Preserve 
S.E, Alachua); record (only those reports ver- 
ihable from photograph, videotape, or speci- 
men evidence); report (any observation); 
S.T.A. (Stormwater Treatment Area); S.T.F 
(Spray Treatment Fields); Viera Wetlands 
(Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera). 

WATERFOWL THROUGH FALCONS 

Before the 2000s, the abundant whistling- 
duck at L. Apopka was Fulvous, and until 
2008, this species had virtually disappeared 
from the area. Then, with the mass reflooding 
of much of the area, the Fulvous returned; 



VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


59 


FLORIDA 




while another at “Dump Marsh,” Miami-Dade 

10 Nov (RoT) was s. of expected areas. Also 
early and at Cockroach Bay was a Lesser 
Scaup 5 Aug (Bob Landry). Early Ruddy 
Ducks were at Tierra Verde, Pinellas 2-3 Aug 
(Eric Plage, RoS) and S.T.A. 5 on 6 Aug 
(Kristin Vaughan). Sea ducks were well repre- 
sented, with 5 Common Eiders at Ormond- 
By-The-Sea, Volusia 27 Nov (MBr) and anoth- 
er at Matanzas River, St. Johns 11-13 Nov 
(Zach McKenna et ah); Surf Scoters in 
Franklin (2; JM), Brevard (one; DE), and 
Pinellas (one; Jide RoS); White-winged Scot- 
ers at Playalinda Beach, Brevard 7 Nov (4; MH 
et al.) and Titusville, Brevard 15-17 Nov (one; 
JoH, MH et al); 3 Black Scoters at Et. Pickens, 
Escambia 30 Nov (LD); and a Long-tailed 
Duck at Pensacola, Escambia 22-23 Nov (Sue 
65 : Bill Yates). A Common Goldeneye was rare 
at Sarasota, Sarasota 27-28 Nov (Kathryn 
Young, Rick Greenspun, Bob Jones). 

A Pacific Loon was reported without details 
at Ocean Pond, Baker 25 Nov (BoR). Unex- 
pected was an early Common Loon at Naples 
Beach, Collier 24 Aug (Guy Fisher). An Eared 
Grebe at Cockroach Bay 26 Nov+ (CC et al.) 
was a good find. Early fall seems to be the best 
time for American Flamingo in Everglades 
N.P., with up to 3 at Snake Bight, Monroe 21- 
27 Aug (BrR, Pete Frezza, Chris Hitt) and 4 
there 21 Sep (ph. Robert L. Ake). Although 
regular in the Gulf Stream from May through 
Oct, 3 Black-capped Petrels 64 km off Volusia 
14 Nov (MBr et al.) were notable for the date. 
A good count of 150 Cory’s Shearwaters was 
made on the same pelagic trip, and a Manx 
Shearwater allowed all aboard good views 
(p.a., MBr et al). Most shearwater species are 
scarce in the Gulf, so a Cory’s Shearwater at 
Ft. Pickens 15 Nov and 2 there the next day 
(L&RAD) were unexpected, as were single 
Great Shearwaters at Ft. Pickens 30 Nov (LD) 
and off Pinellas 4 Aug (SC) and 9 Sep (NG); 2 
Sooty Shearwaters at Ft. Pickens 15 Nov 
(L&RAD); and up to 6 Audubon’s Shearwa- 
ters at Ft. Pickens 15-30 Nov (L&RAD). The 
only storm-petrels reported were 2 Leach’s at 
Patrick A.EB., Brevard 1 Sep (DF). Red-billed 
Tropicbird reports continue to increase; this 
season, singles were discovered 240 km s. of 
Escambia 4 Aug (p.a., NG et al.) and at Ft. 
Lauderdale Beach, Broward 15 Oct (p.a., 
RuT). Magnificent Frigatebirds were n. and w. 
to Ft. Pickens 15 Nov (12; L&RAD) and Alli- 
gator Pt., Eranklin (4; JM). An impressive 
count of 1751 frigatebirds at Marco L, Collier 

1 1 Sep included a female banded about 2400 
km s. in Barbuda, West Indies (TB et al.). 
Away from Dry Tortugas N.P, boobies were 
reported in low numbers, with a Masked 13 
km off Clearwater Beach, Pinellas 13 Aug 


Three Black-capped Petrels pleased participants on a pelagic trip off Ponce de Leon Inlet, Volusia County, Florida 14 Novem- 
ber 201 0. Photograph by Carl Edwards. 


470 were estimated there 28 Nov (HR). With 
populations as close to Florida as Costa Rica, 
a White-faced Whistling-Duck at S.T.A. 5, 
Hendry 27 Nov (ME et al.) was the Region’s 
8 th report since 1998, but as with the others, 
provenance is an issue. Snow Geese were 


widely reported, with one early at Crest L., 
Pinellas 4 Oct (Paul Trunk) and 8 s. at Bis- 
cayne Bay, Miami-Dade 27 Nov (RoT). Four 
Brant were digiscoped in Ponce de Leon Inlet, 
Volusia 21 Oct (Bob Sanders et al). Casual 
statewide, a Tundra Swan visited Paynes 
Prairie 29 Nov-r (Chuck Little- 
wood, m.ob.). Gadwalls continue 
to increase in the cen. peninsula; 
Robinson counted 228 at L. 
Apopka 24 Nov. Robinson also 
located a Eurasian Wigeon there 
19 Nov-f; this species is rarely 
found away from the coast. A rare 
American Black Duck was at 
Cockroach Bay, Hillsborough 27 
Nov-h (RoS, BAh et al.). Formerly 
locally common, but now rare in 
the peninsula, Canvasbacks were 
noteworthy at L. Lochloosa, 
Alachua 13 Nov (2; MM), Lake 
Lotus Nature Park, Altamonte 
Springs, Seminole 14-17 Nov (2; 
PH et al). Moody Pond, Hillsbor- 
ough 6 Nov (one; Cole 
Fredricks), and Bill Dunn Water 
Reclamation Facility, Pinellas 15- 
29 Nov (one; Marianne Korosy et 
al). A single Redhead at Cock- 
roach Bay 9 Sep (CC) was early. 


A species seldom reported in Florida waters, a Manx Shearwater was well 
documented off Ponce de Leon Inlet, Volusia County, Florida 14 November 
2010. Photograph by Carl Edwards. 


60 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


FLORIDA 



This immature Great Cormorant made a rare inland visit at Florida's Viera Wetlands 28 (here 31) October through 
22 November 2010. Photograph by Danny Bales. 



In Florida, coastal Miami-Dade County has hosted a series of black-hawk sightings since 1973. Since 2003, a 
Great Black-Hawk has been seen with regularity on Virginia Key (here 27 October 2010), although its prove- 
nance, as with that of other reported black-hawks, is unknown. Photograph by Robin Diaz. 



This leucistic Red Knot was found at Fort De Soto Park, Pinellas County, 
Florida 16 August 2010. Photograph by Joyce Stefanck. 



This juvenile Sabine's Gull was photographed at Cape Canaveral National 
Seashore, Volusia County, Florida 20 September 2010. Photograph by 
Michael Brothers. 


(SC) and a Brown at Canaveral N.S., Volusia 20 Sep 
(MBr). An all-time high for the panhandle, 1200 North- 
ern Gannets passed Ft. Pickens 15 Nov (L&RAD). Very 
rare inland, a Great Cormorant delighted many at Viera 
Wetlands, Brevard 28 Oct-22 Nov (/ideJoH, m.ob.). 

An American Bittern at St. Petersburg, Pinellas 21 Aug 
(DM) was early. A Great White Heron at Cockroach Bay 
28 Aug-23 Sep (EK et al.) was near the n. limit of this 
subspecies’ very local breeding range on the Gulf coast, 
while another that wandered farther n. to Seashore Key, 
Levy last summer, remained until late Oct (Doug Maple). 
A Reddish Egret at L. Pierce, Polk 1 Oct (Jim DuBois) 
was unusual inland. First discovered last summer, a 
White-faced Ibis remained at Trinity, Pasco throughout 
the season (DGa, JW), while 2 were at St. Marks N.W.R., 
Wakulla 7 Nov Oean Simpson). Rare and local, White- 
tailed Kites were found at South Bay, Palm Beach 2 Oct 
(Greg Schrott) and Frog Pond, Miami-Dade 15 Oct (MG, 
Roxanne Featherly). A Snail Kite was n. at Viera Wet- 
lands 28 Oct-6 Nov QoH, m.ob.), and high counts in- 
cluded 27 at S.T.A. 5 on 18 Sep and 30 at Devil's Garden, 
Hendry 1 Oct (ME et al.). Rarely seen away from the 
breeding grounds in n. Florida, 9 Mississippi Kites were 
found in Monroe 15 Oct (MG). A few Northern Harriers 
typically return to the Region in Aug, as did one at Tam- 
inco/Air Products Sanctuary, Santa Rosa 4-24 Aug (Lcs 
Kelly, Larry Goodman) and 2 at Blumberg Rd., Hendry 5 
Aug (Cheryl Lachance, Tom Smith). A count of 800 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


61 


Florida 




raptor count was 109 
Peregrine Falcons at Gua- 
na Tolomato Matanzas 
National Estuarine Re- 
search Reserve, St.Johns 2 
Oct (Diane Reed). 


With fewer than five records of the specides for Florida, this Cuban Pewee at Long Pine 
Key, Everglades National Park, Miami-Dade County 5-24 (here 7) September 2010 resulted 
in pilgrimages for many birders from Florida and beyond. Photograph by Danny Bales. 


Furnishing the third report for the Florida panhandle, this 
Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher visited Fort Pickens, Gulf Islands 
National Seashore, Escambia County 3 (here) through 7 Oc- 
tober 2010. Photograph by Alex Harper. 

Broad-winged Hawks at Fort Zachary Taylor 
Historic S.E, Key West Monroe (CG) was ex- 
traordinary; this species is rarely seen migrat- 
ing through the peninsula. Short-tailed Hawk 
reports in Volusici, Orange, and Pasco approxi- 
mated the n. limits of this species’ Florida 
breeding range. Extremely rare away from the 
s. peninsula, where a few winter annually, 
lone Swainson’s Hawks were identihed at 
Merritt Island N.W.R., Brevard 22 Oct (MH), 
L. Apopka 31 Oct (HR), Ferndale Preserve, 
Lake 3 Nov (CQ), and Blackwater Creek Pre- 
serve, Hillsborough 7 Nov (Dave Goodwin, 
Eric Haney, Charley Eisher). Another high 


RAILS THROUGH 
JAEGERS 

Although the inland lim- 
its of Black Rail’s breeding 
and winter ranges are 
poorly known in Florida, 
singles were heard at 
South Bay 28 Aug QHB et 
al.), along Bottoms Rd., 
Wakulla 19 Sep (R&LC), 
and at Bethea S.E, Baker 
23 Oct (BoR). Purple 
Swamphen continues to 
thrive in the n. Ever- 
glades, with 24 reported 
at S.T.A. 5 on 21 Aug (ME et al). Five Limp- 
kins were at the n. limit of their range at L. 
Jackson, Leon 28 Nov (Harry Hooper, Lynn 
Reynolds). The pair of introduced Whooping 
Cranes that nested at Paynes Prairie in sum- 
mer 2010 lost both chicks before fledging 
(Steve Nesbitt); depredation is an all-too- 
common occurrence in the resident Florida 
birds. Two other Whooping Cranes were 
found at Lutz, Pasco 17 Sep (Dave Bowman). 

Up to 6 American Golden-Plovers were at 
Merritt Island N.W.R., Volusia 4 Sep-22 Oct 
(AB, MH et al), with 2 at Homestead, Miami- 
Dade 5 Oct (LaM), up to 2 at Viera Wetlands 
14 & 28 Oct (DF, MH), and singles at Ft. De 
Soto Park, Pmellas 7 Sep (MG, JMc) and L. 
Apopka 20-22 Oct (HR). Rare away from the 
Gulf, Snowy Plovers were at Snake Bight 7 
Aug (one; BrR), Nassau 6-7 Aug (3; Patrick 
Leary), and Little Talbot L, Duval 13 Sep (one; 
Kevin Dailey); the species now occurs annual- 
ly at Little Talbot I. in small numbers. Plover 
censuses resulted in high counts of 48 
Snowies at Anclote Key, Pasco 15 Nov (HW) 
and 39 Pipings at Crandon Park Beach, Mia- 
mi-Dade 26 Oct (RD), which included 3 band- 
ed birds. A Snowy Plover at the Caxambas 
Pass area. Collier 21 Oct (T&VB) was the first 
recorded s. of Marco I. in the 28 years of that 
local census project. Rare inland were a Piping 
Plover at Okaloosa County Holding Ponds 17- 
Aug (EK); 4 Willets at L. Apopka 22 Aug (HR) 
and 12 at Duda Earms, Belle Glade, Palm 
Beach 18 Sep (CW, JK); a Whimbrel at Home- 
stead 1 Sep (LaM); 5 Red Knots at L. Apopka 
17 Sep (HR); and 5 Sanderlings at Duda 
Earms, Belle Glade 18 Sep (CW, JK) and one 
at L. Apopka 22 Oct (HR). A Solitary Sand- 
piper at Cockroach Bay 26 Nov (DGa, JW) 


was late. Upland Sandpipers were reported lo- 
cally throughout the state from Aug-early Sep, 
with a high of 7 near Elorida City, Miami-Dade 
5 Aug (RoT). Only 3 Long-billed Curlews 
were reported, all on the Gulf coast, with sin- 
gles in Collier (T&VB), Pinellas (m.ob.), and 
Bay (Neil Lamb, Tony Menart). The highest 
count of Red Knots was 650 at Ft. De Soto 
Park 13 Aug-4 Sep (RoS, DM). Recent fall sea- 
sons have produced unusual numbers of 
White-rumped Sandpipers, and this year was 
no exception, with reports from Okaloosa 
(EK), Levy (MG, JMc), Flagler (MBr), Orange 
(HR), Brevard (EK), and Indian River (AB). 
Two Baird’s Sandpipers were unexpected at 
Merritt Island N.W.R. 26 Aug (MH) and 9 Sep 
(DE). A Purple Sandpiper returned to Ponce 
de Leon Inlet 4 Nov (MBr), the southernmost 
location where this species is regular. Buff- 
breasted Sandpipers showed well, with a high 
of 6 near Florida City 2-8 Sep (LaM, RoT) and 
a late individual at Merritt Island N.W.R., Vo- 
lusia 16 Oct (David Hartgrove, Ray Scory). A 
Ruff at Merritt Island N.W.R., Volusia 14 Sep 
(MH) was the only vagrant shorebird of the 
season. Wilson’s Phalaropes were widely re- 
ported, with up to 7 at Merritt Island N.W.R. 
14 Sep-22 Oct (MH et al.) and one late there 
19 Nov (Tom Dunkerton). Rarely seen on 
shore, lone Red-necked Phalaropes were seen 
at Virginia Key, Miami-Dade 22 Sep (RD), 
Bunche Beach, Lee 27-29 Sep (Vince McGrath, 
m.ob.), and Merritt Island N.W.R. 12 Oct 
(MBr, MH) and 7 Nov Qoyce Stefandc). Three 
Red Phalaropes off Volusia 14 Nov (MBr et al.) 
were the only ones reported. 

Sabine’s Gulls, rarely seen from shore, were 
seen at Melbourne Beach, Brevard 17 Sep (AB) 
and Canaveral N.S. 20 Sep (ph. MBr). 
Franklin’s Gulls are regular on the cen. At- 
lantic coast in late fall. This season, at least 15 
were in Brevard and Volusia 19 Oct-30 Nov 
(MBr, DF, MH); a lone Franklin’s wandered 
inland to L. Apopka 24 Nov (HR). A first-cy- 
cle Thayer’s Gull graced Ponce Inlet 22 Nov 
(p.a., MBr). Still rare on the Gulf coast, Less- 
er Black-backed Gulls were at three Pinellas 
locations 7 Sep-23 Oct and at Longboat Key, 
Sarasota 26 Nov (RoS). Three Great Black- 
backed Gulls returned early to Crandon Park 
25 Aug (RD). With minor tropical weather 
activity, reports of tropical terns were few: a 
Brown Noddy at Ft. Pickens 15 Nov 
(L&RAD); 2 Sooty Terns off Volusia 14 Nov 
(MBr); and Bridled Terns at Playalinda Beach 
29-30 Aug (4; MH), Ponce de Leon Inlet (one; 
MBr), Patrick A.FB. 1 Sep (2; DF), and off Vo- 
lusia 14 Nov (one; MBr). Usually departing by 
late Aug or early Sep, a Least Tern at Ft. De 
Soto Park 22 Oct (HW) was late. Four 
Roseate Terns at Marathon, Monroe 3 Aug 


62 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


FLORIDA 


Qim Eager) were at one of the few breeding 
locations in the state. A flock of 10,000 Com- 
mon Terns at Anclote Sandbar, Pasco 1 Oct 
(KT) made an amazing spectacle. No large 
flights of jaegers were detected this fall, but 
Long-tailed Jaegers were found at Ponce de 
Leon Inlet 1 Sep (3; MBr), off Opal Beach, Es- 
cambia 6 Sep (one; Kelly Jones), and off Volu- 
sia 14 Nov (one; fide MBr). 

CUCKOOS THROUGH FINCHES 

Surprising were 4 Yellow-billed Cuckoos in 
Nov, with the latest at Paynes Prairie 23 Nov 
(Frank Goodwin). A species rarely encoun- 
tered in Florida, 10 Black-billed Cuckoos 
were reported from 25 Aug through 1 7 Oct in 
the big bend and n. peninsula. The only 
Smooth-billed Ani reports came from the s. L. 
Okeechobee region, with singles at Blumberg 
Rd., Hendry 5 Aug (Cheryl Lachance, Tom 
Smith) and 4 Sep (ph. Alayna & Jay Gal- 
braith) and 2 at Brown’s Farm Rd., Palm 
Beach 21 Aug (Alan Murray, Kim Willis). 
Groove-billed Anis were found in multiple 
locations: one was at Ft. Pickens 22-25 Nov 
(KM), up to 4 were at Bald Pt., Franklin 10- 
16 Oct (JM, JoH et al), and one was at 
Paynes Prairie 16 Oct-25 Nov (Adam Kent, 
Craig Faulhaber et al.). Single Burrowing 
Owls at Ft. De Soto Park 7-9 Oct (RoS) and 
Ft. Zachary Taylor Historic S.P., Key West 15- 
21 Oct (CG, MG) were not near known 
breeding areas. Uncommon and local, a 
Short-eared Owl was at Three Rooker Bar, 
Pasco 9 Nov (HW). A Common Nighthawk 
at Ft. De Soto Park 3 Nov (L&RoS) and 2 
Chuck-will’s-widows at A.D. Barnes Park, 
Miami-Dade 14 Nov (Robert McNab) were 
late, while an Eastern Whip-poor-will at 
Boulware Spring, Alachua 25 Aug (AKr) was 
early. The usual western hummingbirds 
showed, including a Buff-bellied at Pensacola 
19 Nov; Black-chinneds at Pensacola 19 Nov 
and Monticello, Jcjfferson 23 Nov; and single 
Rufous at Tallahassee 21 Aug and 4 Sep, and 
at Crawfordville, Wakulla 26 Sep; all were 
banded by Fred Bassett. A Black-chinned was 
at Cedar Key, Levy 12-13 Oct (Dale Hender- 
son). Other Rufous were at Alachua, Alachua 
28 Aug (Greg Hart), at Altamonte Springs 30 
Sep+ (ph. PH), and in Winter Park, Orange, 
with singles at Mead Garden 8 Sep Oeff Mac- 
Donald) and Genius Drive Nature Preserve 
30-31 Oct (BHA et al.). 

Olive-sided Flycatchers were at Walsingham 
Park, Pinellas 9 Sep (Cynthia Ponessa), 
Gainesville 29 Sep (MM), and Columbia City, 
Columbia 1 Oct O^rry Krummrich). The sea- 
son’s most exciting find was a Cuban Pewee, 
Florida’s 4th, that remained at Long Pine Key, 
Everglades N.P., Miami-Dade 5-26 Sep (p.a., 


ph. LaM, m.ob.). There were at least 7 Yellow- 
bellied Flycatchers reported in the big bend 
and peninsula, more than usual, from 4 Sep 
through 26 Oct. Alder Flycatchers have been 
regular in the s. peninsula for several years, 
and the first 3 arrived at Frog Pond 15 Aug 
(LaM). Much rarer than Alders, and still not 
officially verihed for the state. Willow Fly- 
catchers were heard at Gulf Breeze, Santa Rosa 
28 Aug (p.a., L63:RAD), New Port Richey, Pas- 
co 1-27 Sep (p.a., KT), and Tall Cypress Natu- 
ral Area, Broward 22 Oct (p.a., RuT, JHu). A 
Say’s Phoebe at Astatula, Lake returned for its 
3rd winter 6 Nov+ (p.a., CQ). Rare but regular 
migrants in the big bend and panhandle. Ver- 
milion Flycatchers were at Wakulla, Wakulla 
14 Oct (SM), Bald Point 15 Oct QM), and Ft. 
Walton Beach S.T.E, Okaloosa 15 Oct-27 Nov 
(Bruce Purdy, Betsy Tetlow et al). Ash-throat- 
ed Flycatchers provided excitement at Ft. 
Pickens 21-29 Oct (David Sparks et al). Ft. 
Walton Beach S.T.F 23 Oct-19 Nov (RAD, Ce- 
cil Brown et al), St. George Island S.P., 
F?anklin 29 Oct QC), Paynes Prairie 19-20 
Nov (Lloyd Davis, MM), L. Apopka 14 Nov (2; 
HR), and Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, Pinellas 6- 
12 Nov Oeff Hooks et al). Single Brown-crest- 
ed Flycatchers were at Long Pine Key 12 Oct 
(LaM) and L. Apopka 14 Nov (HR), where this 
species frequently winters. The 7th report of 
the genus, and 5th for the species if accepted, 
a Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher entertained bird- 
ers at Ft. Pickens 3-7 Oct (Brenda & Jerry Cal- 
loway, ph. AlH). Noteworthy kingbird reports 
included a vocal Tropical Kingbird at Virginia 
Key, Miami-Dade 13 Oct (p.a., RD); a Cassin’s 
Kingbird at S.T.A. 5 arriving for its 3rd year 30 
Oct (p.a., ME); an early Western Kingbird at 
Ft. De Soto Park 29 Sep (RoS); a late Eastern 
Kingbird at Eagle Lake Park, Pinellas 22 Oct 
(fide RoS); and a late Gray Kingbird along Deer 
Fence Rd., Hendry 22 Nov (ME et al). 

A Thick-billed Vireo was a one-day wonder 
at Crandon Park 18 Nov (p.a.. Hop Hopkins, 
RoT); there have been 19 reports of this 
species since 1988. Bell’s Vireos are regular in 
fall in Miami-Dade, where one was seen at A. 
D. Barnes Park 26 Oct (Brian Rapoza et al), 
but others at Naval Live Oaks, Santa Rosa 5 
Sep (AlH), St. George Island S.P. 5 Sep 0M)> 
and Alligator Point 9 Oct QM) were unusual. 
A Warbling Vireo dropped into St. George Is- 
land S.P. 3 Oct (RC); a Black-whiskered Vireo 
wandered to the same location 25 Sep QM, 
Chris Borg), perhaps having summered farther 
w. along the coast, where several were reported 
last spring. Philadelphia Vireos were more 
widely reported than usual, with 16 through- 
out the Region, including one early at 
Pinecraft Park, Sarasota 26 Aug Qudy Fisher). 
Early returning Tree Swallows included 2 at 



The status of Bicknell's Thrush in Florida is known only from 
a few specimens and more recently, banded birds, including 
two banded in fall 2010. This individual, identified by wing 
measurements, was banded at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State 
Park, Miami-Dade County on the late date of 4 November 
2010. Photograph by Robin Diaz. 

Brandon, Hillsborough 9 Aug QW) and one at 
Green Key, Pasco 13 Aug (DGa, JW). Some 35 
Cave Swallows at Frank B. Butler County Park, 
St.Johns 16 Nov (MaH) made a high count n. 
of the extreme s. peninsula; the only other re- 
port was n. and inland at Hague, Alachua 7 
Nov (MaH). Most Red-breasted Nuthatch re- 
ports come from the Gulf in fall, and this au- 
tumn, 6 were found from Franklin to Hillsbor- 
ough, with a high of 2 at Apalachicola N.F, 
Franklin 22 Nov (KM et al). A Brown Creeper 
at St. George Island S.P 8 Oct QC) was early, as 
was a Winter Wren at the University of West 
Florida, Escambia 21 Oct (AlH). This was an- 
other good season for Golden-crowned 
Kinglets, with individuals as far s. as Pinellas 
(m.ob.) and up to 27 in Alachua (MM). Rare, 
but likely annual in Florida, Bicknell’s 
Thrushes were banded at Bill Baggs Cape 
Florida S.P, Miami-Dade 4 Nov (p.a., RD) and 
at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve S.P, Okeechobee 
9 Oct (p.a., Paul Miller). 

Golden-winged Warblers were reported in 
moderate numbers throughout, with a high of 
3 at Gulf Breeze 27 Sep (L&RAD). Late were a 
Tennessee Warbler in Broward 10 Nov QHu), 
a Chestnut-sided Warbler at Richardson Park, 
Wilton Manors, Broward 18 Nov (RuT), and 2 
Black-throated Blue Warblers at Balm Boyette 
Scrub Preserve, Hillsborough 5 Nov (Dl). Ear- 
ly warblers included an Orange-crowned War- 
bler in Okaloosa 18 Sep (Don Ware), a Chest- 
nut-sided Warbler at John Chesnut Park, 
Pinellas 27 Aug (DI, Charles Buhrman), and a 
Yellow-rumped Warbler at Ormond Beach 8 
Sep (Meret Wilson). Only 6 Nashville War- 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


63 


{FLORIDA 


r: 


WHAT DO 
INDOOR 
CAT^ MISS? 


^ Killing birds 
^ Getting lost 
^ Getting stolen 

Getting hit by a car 
Fatal feline diseases 
Dog attacks 
Abscesses 
^ Worms 
^ Fleas 
^ Ticks 


Protect cats, birds, 
and other wildlife by 
keeping cats indoors! 




I'or more information, contact: 

American Bird Conservancy 

Cats h/doors! 

1731 Connecticut Avenue, N\X’ 
Washington, DC 20009 
Phone: 202-234-7181 
lax: 202-234-7182 
W'eb: u’wu'.abcbtrds.org 
E-mail: abc@abcbirds.org 




AMERICAN BIRD 
CONSERVANCY 


biers were reported, and those were seen from 
17 Sep through 28 Oct. An Audubon’s War- 
bler at Gainesville 15 Oct (p.a., Bob Carrol) 
was the latest of about 18 reports for the state. 
The only Black-throated Gray Warbler was re- 
ported at L. Apopka 15 Sep (HR). Almost an- 
nual, a Townsend’s Warbler stunned birders at 
Matheson Hammock County Park, Miami- 
Dade 3 Oct (Rafael Galvez et al), Blackburn- 
ian Warbler migration peaked rather early, 
with most reports in late Aug and early Sep. A 
Palm Warbler at Ft. Pickens 15 Aug QPO was 
early. Bay-breasted Warblers were not as wide- 
ly reported as usual, and all reports came from 
Oct. Rare in fall, Blackpoll Warblers were re- 
ported from multiple locations on the Atlantic 
coast, with a surprising report from Ft. Pick- 
ens in the panhandle 30 Oct (Peggy Baker, Sue 
Peters-Ferree). Cerulean Warblers were plen- 
tiful and widespread, with a high of 3 at Boyd 
Hill Nature Preserve 22 Aug (RoS). Typically 
an early migrant and very rarely reported in 
the winter, a Prothonotary Warbler at A. D. 
Barnes Park 14 Nov (Robert McNab) was late. 
Reports of Swainson’s Warblers were few, 
whereas those of the usually rare Kentucky 
Warbler were rather numerous and wide- 
spread. A high count of 98 Louisiana Wa- 
terthrushes was made at L. Apopka 27 Aug 
(HR). Rare in fall, Connecticut Warblers were 
at Ft. Pickens 3 Oct (Merilu Rose), Jack- 
sonville, Duval 9 Sep (Julie Cocke), and Bill 
Baggs Cape Florida S.P. 30 Sep (RD). More 
rarely seen, a Mourning Warbler visited Or- 
lando, Orange on the late date of 1 Oct (Dot 
Freeman). A Hooded Warbler in Broward 22 
Oct+ (RuT, JHu) may overwinter. Of the 7 
Wilson’s Warblers reported, the latest was at 
Gainesville 21 Nov (MM). Sixteen Canada 
Warblers were found throughout the Region, 
with a high of 2 at Gulf Breeze 27 Sep 
(L&RD). 

A Green-tailed Towhee returned to Ft. 
Pickens 31 Oct for a 2nd winter (p.a., AlH, 
P&CJ, m ob.). Three Clay-colored Sparrows 
at Bald Point 8 Oct QM) made the highest 
count of at least f 1 reported statewide, and a 
Field Sparrow there 14 Oct (SM) was early. 
Ten Lark Sparrows throughout the state was a 
near-normal number. Single Henslow’s and Le 
Conte’s Sparrows were at Ft. Walton Beacb 
S.T.F 19 Nov (L&RAD), and another Le Con- 
te’s was s. at Lake Jesup C.A., Seminole 9 Nov 
(DBa). Early sharp-tailed sparrows included a 
Nelson’s Sparrow at Opal Beach 16 Sep (RAD) 
and a Saltmarsh Sparrow at Merritt Island 
N.W.R., Volusia 3 Oct (DBa). A Seaside Spar- 
row at Merritt Island N.W.R., Brevard 14 Aug 
(EK) was rare for the county since the extinc- 
tion of Dusky Seaside Sparrow there in 1977. 
A Lincoln’s Sparrow reached s. to Loop Rd., 


Monroe 30 Oct OHB), and single Dark-eyed 
juncos were at Gainesville 29 Oct and 18 Nov 
(Howard Adams et al.). 

Six Western Tanagers were reported state- 
wide from 20 Sep through 28 Nov. An amaz- 
ing count of 120 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks 
came from Tiger Pt., Santa Rosa 24 Oct (Paul 
Blakeburn). Blue Grosbeaks lingered at Ft. 
Walton Beach S.T.E 8 Nov (4; RAD) and Hon- 
eymoon Island S.P, Pinellas 12 Nov (DGa, 
JW). A Lazuli Bunting returned to Oveido, 
Seminole for a 4th consecutive winter 20 Nov+ 
(p.a., Eric & Rachel Christensen). Dickcissels 
are increasing both as migrants and winter res- 
idents; the earliest appeared at Ft. Pickens 22 
Aug OPO. Yellow- headed Blackbirds were also 
reported throughout the state, with 5 of the 7 
occurring in Oct. A Shiny Cowbird wandered 
n. to Gandy Beach, Pinellas 20 Aug (DGa, 
JW), and a high of 19 was counted at Home- 
stead 4-6 Sep (LaM). While breeding locally in 
the se. peninsula, Bronzed Cowbird remains 
rare along the Gulf, where four reports came 
from Franklin to Pinellas. An Orchard Oriole 
at Ft. Walton Beach S.T.F 29 Oct was late, and 
a Purple Finch there the same day was the 
only reported this season (AlH, PJ), as was a 
Bullock’s Oriole that stopped at Altamonte 
Springs 28 Oct (p.a., PH). An early American 
Goldfinch visited an Altamonte Springs feeder 
18 Sep (PH). 

Contributors (and members of the Florida 
Ornithological Society Field Observations 
Committee, in boldface): Brian Ahem (BAh), 
Bruce H. Anderson, Danny Bales (DBa), 
Andy Bankert, Ted & Virginia Below, John H. 
Boyd, Michael Brothers (MBr), Rodney & Ly- 
dia Cassidy, Jim Cavanagh, Cameron Cox, 
Stan Czaplicki, Robin Diaz, Lucy & Robert 
A. Duncan, Margaret England, Charlie Ewell, 
David Freeland, David Gagne (DGa), Murray 
Gardler, Nate Goddard, Carl Goodrich, Matt 
Hafner (MaH), Al & Bev Hansen, Alex Harp- 
er (AlH), Mitchell Harris, John Hintermister 
QoH), Paul Hueber, John Hutchison OHu), 
Dan Irizarry, Patrick & Chris James, Jo Key, 
Andy Kratter (AKr), Ed Kwater, Mike Manetz, 
Larry Manfredi (LaM), Don Margeson, Sean 
McCool, Jim McKay QMc), Keith McMullen, 
John Murphy, James Pfeiffer QPO, Peggy 
Powell, Bill Pranty, Gallus Quigley, Bob 
Richter (BoR), Bryant Roberts (BrR), Harry 
Robinson, Ron & Lori Smith (L&RoS), Russ 
Titus (RuT), Roberto Torres (RoT), Ken 
Tracey, Jim Wells, Harley Winfrey. O 


Bruce H. Anderson, 2917 Scarlet Road 
Winter Park, Florida 32792, (scizortail@aol.com) 
Andy Bankert, 365 Spoonbill Lane 
Melbourne Beach, Florida 32951, (abankert@fit.edu) 


64 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


Ontario 



Margaret J. C. Bain 


S ummer did not arrive in Ontario until 
mid-September, after unseasonably cool, 
wet weather had persisted through most 
of June, July, and August. Only the extreme 
southwest of the province experienced some 
higher temperatures in August. Pleasant, 
warm, mainly dry conditions then predomi- 
nated well into November in most areas, with 
no major cold fronts passing through the 
province, though a strong system in late Octo- 
ber brought a bounty of Cave Swallows. The 
warm temperatures and the absence of signifi- 
cant snow until almost the end of the period 
encouraged several insectivorous species to 
linger. Snow-belt areas in southwestern On- 
tario had received less than one centimeter of 
snow by the end of the period, instead of the 
more expected 20 cm, and the north did not 
see much snow until the second half of No- 
vember. An expedition to Netitishi Point on 
James Bay in November experienced extreme- 
ly mild conditions, with no severe weather un- 
til the very late date of 19 November. 

For the second year in a row, cone crops 
were good in the northern boreal forest but 
very poor in central and eastern Ontario, and 
there was no large movement of winter finch- 
es through southern Ontario in the fall. How- 
ever, birders in the south of the province had 
an exceptional season, with high numbers of 
Neotropical migrants, a diaspora of Grayjays, 
and a huge movement of Black-capped 
Chickadees that brought with it a few Boreal 
Chickadees. Many rarities were found, in- 
cluding Ontario’s first Sooty Shearwater, 
Anna’s Hummingbird, and a Herring Gull of 
the Asian subspecies vegae (Vega Gull). Also 
noteworthy were a lingering Black-bellied 
Whistling-Duck, the first Dovekies for north- 
ern Ontario, a Western Wood-Pewee, a Ver- 
milion Flycatcher, a Sulphur-bellied Flycatch- 
er, two Sage Thrashers, a Green-tailed 


Towhee, two Golden-crowned Sparrows, two 
Painted Buntings, and a Hooded Oriole. 

Abbreviations: G.T.A. (Greater Toronto 
Area); H.B.M.O. (Holiday Beach Migration 
Observatory, Holiday Beach, Essex); H.C.H. 
(Hawk Cliff Hawkwatch, Port Stanley, Elgin); 
H.S.A. (Hamilton Study Area); K.F.N. 
(Kingston Field Naturalists); L.PB.O. (Long 
Point B.O., Long Point, Noifolk)- O.B.R.C. 
(Ontario B.R.C.); R E. Pt. (Prince Edward Pt., 
Prince Edward)', Point Pelee (Point Pelee Bird- 
ing Area); ROM (Royal Ontario Museum, 
Toronto); S.L. (Sewage Lagoons); T.C.B.O. 
(Thunder Cape B.O., Thunder Cape, Thunder 
Bay)', V.W.B. (Van Wagners Beach, Hamilton). 
Place names in italics refer to counties, dis- 
tricts, and regional municipalities. 

WATERFOWL THROUGH GROUSE 

The Black-bellied Whistling-Duck discov- 
ered at a farm pond near Milford, Prince Ed- 
ward 13 Jul (DO) remained until 23 Aug 
(m.ob.); 9 whistling-ducks flew high over Old 


Cut, Long Point, Norfolk at dusk 28 Aug 
(MVAB, BAT) but could not be identified to 
species. At Pittock L., Oxford, a Greater 
White-fronted Goose was found 8 Oct OMH), 
joined by another 12 Oct-3 Nov (m.ob.); one 
flew in to the Manitowaning S.L., Manitoulin 
24 Nov (RT, CTB), one was at Richmond 
C.A., Ottawa 25 Nov (PB), and 4 at Big Creek 
Marsh, Norfolk 27 Nov (AEK, HGC) moved 
to nearby Lee Brown’s 28 Nov; the 7 at Laurel 
Creek 29 Nov (AB) provided only the 2nd 
record for Waterloo. In Stormont, Dundas & 
Glengarry, over 10,000 Snow Geese frequent- 


ed a sod farm e. of Casselman 1 1 Oct-24 Nov 
(BLM, m.ob.); the peak count was 32,250 in 
nearby Green Valley 11 Nov (HvdZ), and 
there were still 5000 at Chesterville 27 Nov 
(MVAB). An ad. white-morph Ross’s Goose 
was early at Marathon, Thunder Bay 10 Sep 
(MTB), one was shot by a hunter (EH) in 
Carnarvon Twp., Manitoulin 30 Sep, an ad. 
was near Fournier, Prescott-Russell 7 Oct 
(PB), and another bird shot at Conestoga 15 
Oct (SL) provided the first record for Water- 
loo. Fields beside Fallowheld Rd., Ottawa 
held an ad. Ross’s Goose 21 Nov (PW, m.ob.), 
with 3 ads. there 23 Nov (BMDL) and one 
still present 26 Nov (BMDL, BAT); another 
was at Rondeau PR, Chatham-Kent 24 Nov 
(TO) and one near Port Royal, Norfolk 26 
Nov (AT). In the s.. Cackling Geese were in 
small numbers in several widely scattered lo- 
cations; larger groups included a noisy flock 
of 24 at the Cranberry Marsh Hawkwatch, 
Whitby, Durham 20 Oct (AGC, m.ob.), 15 at 
Chatham, Chatham-Kent 24 Nov (PAW, 
m.ob.), and 11 at Sturgeon Creek, Essex 5-6 


Oct (AW et al.). Trumpeter Swan populations 
continue to expand in the province; in Raitry 
River, a pair raised 6 young at Atikokan, pres- 
ent through mid-Oct (DHE), and another pair 
raised 5 young at Calm L., remaining until 14 
Oct (LMd); the Ottawa area had its first con- 
firmed breeding record in Jun 2010, and 2 
ads. with 2 juvs. were on a pond near Wat- 
son’s Corners, Lanark 11 Oct (TS), while 2 
ads. with 4 juvs. were on the Mississippi R. at 
Carleton Place, Lanark 25-26 Nov (MJ). 

Considered very rare in s. James Bay, 24 
Wood Ducks were at the Moosonee S.L., 









This adult Pacific Loon molting into basic plumage was one of at least three present on Lake Ontario off Oshawa Harbour in 
the Durham Region of Ontario 24 (here 29) October through 9 November 2010. Photograph by Jean Iron. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


65 


ONTARIO 


4 


t 






Early morning sunshine highlighted this Sooty Shearwater, a first for Ontario, as it zipped up and down over the waves at 
Netitishi Point, Cochrane District 13 November 2010. Presented is a line shot of multiple exposures covering about one sec- 
ond of travel. Photograph by Brandon Holden. 




This cooperative American Avocet remained at Sturgeon Creek, Essex County, Ontario 
from 30 October through 7 (here 1) November 2010. Photograph by Alan Wormington. 


This first-cycle Laughing Gull visited Petrie Island in the Ottawa River, Ottawa, 
Ontario 5 October 2010. Photograph by Daniel Cadieux. 


Cochrane 4 Sep (EBM). A single male Eurasian 
Wigeon was on Wolfe 1., Frontenac 18 Oct 
(BRH, RWS), and one frequented Presqu’ile 
RR, Northumberland 11 Oct-r (FMH, m.ob.). 
Two Green-winged Teal at Brule L., Nipissing 
19 Nov (DCT) were record late for Algonquin 


RE, while a male Eurasian 
Teal was photographed at 
Burlington, Halton 28 Nov 
(BB). Wolfe I. had peak 
counts of 8000 Redheads 4 
Nov (K.EN.) and 10,000 
Greater Scaup 7 Nov 
(K.EN.); there were 8000 
Greater Scaup on L. Scugog 
off Newmans Beach, 
Kawartha Lakes 7 Nov 
(CJE). King Eiders at Neti- 
tishi Pt., Cochrane District 
were single birds 13 & 14 
Nov, with 4 seen 17 Nov and 
26 on 20 Nov (BRH, AW); a 
female King Eider was off 
Stoney Creek lakeshore, 
Hamilton 29 Nov (BMDL, 
BEDE). A female Harlequin 
Duck was at Horton Pt., Kin- 
cardine, Bruce 23 Oct-3 Nov 
QT et al.), a male at Humber 
Bay Park, Metro Toronto 10 
Nov (BMn), and another fe- 
male at Whitby harbor 29-30 
Nov (DK). Providing a 
record-high count for the 
H.S.A. was a total of 263 
Black Scoters off Stoney 
Creek lakeshore 15 Nov 
(RZD). In Ottawa, the first 
Barrow’s Goldeneye of the 
fall was an ad. male 3 Nov 
(ET), with up to 3 ad. males there 10 Nov-r 
(m.ob.). Single male Barrow’s Goldeneyes were 
on the St. Lawrence R. at Cornwall, Stonnont, 
Dundas & Glengarry 14-24 Nov (HvdZ, m.ob.) 
and at Presqu’ile P.P. 23-30 Nov-i- (FMH, 
m.ob.). Heavy rain grounded 350 Ruddy 


Ducks on Pittock L. and Wildwood L. 14 Oct 
QMH, JGs, HA), a record fall count for Oxford. 
An ad. Sharp-tailed Grouse with 6 young was 
w. of Dryden, Kenora 31 Aug (CDE). 

LOONS THROUGH RAPTORS 

There were 555 Red-throated Loons at Neti- 
tishi Pt. 17 Nov (BRH, AW), with the last 5 
birds there 20 Nov (AW); a late flight of 160 
Red-throated Loons followed the Ottawa R. 
through downtown Ottawa 23 Nov (BMDL, 
TAH). An alternate-plumaged Pacific Loon was 
photographed close to shore on L. Ontario at 
Oshawa Second Marsh, Durham 24-29 Oct 
(AGC, m.ob.), joined by another in basic 
plumage 29 Oct (DBW, m.ob.); thereafter, 2 
basic-plumaged birds were photographed in 
the area through 9 Nov (m.ob.), confirming 
the presence of at least 3 Pacific Loons off Os- 
hawa. Another, or one of the Oshawa birds, 
was noted on nearby Thickson’s Bay, Whitby 
30 Oct-21 Nov (GC, m.ob.). Single Pacific 
Loons were off P. E. Pt. 7 Nov (K.EN.), Fifty 
Pt., Hamilton/Niagara 8 Nov (DRD, BNC), the 
Tip of Long Point 10 Nov (SAM, MKS), and 
the Tip of Point Pelee, Essex 26 Nov (AW); an 
ad. at Netitishi Pt. 14 Nov (AW, BRH) was one 
of few records for s. James Bay. The Eared 
Grebe in Cobourg harbor, Northumberland 4- 
10 Aug (KDN, m.ob.) was likely the same bird 
there 3-10 jun; possibly the same bird again 
was among Horned Grebes at nearby Presqu’ile 
RP. 12 Oct (DBr); Townsend S.L., Haldimand 
held 2 Eared Grebes 6 Sep O^B), and one was 
at Port Lambton, Lambton 5 Oct (BAM). 

A Sooty Shearwater flew offshore at Neti- 
tishi Pt. 13 Nov (AW, BRH) for Ontario’s first 
record. A juv. Northern Gannet passed Leslie 
St. Spit, Metro Toronto 13 Nov (HGC) and was 
seen in nearby Toronto harbor the next day 
(SRC); the following day, 15 Nov, a young 
Northern Gannet flew inland near Newcastle, 
Durham but was hit by a truck on the highway 
and died (AWd; *ROM). Another juv. gannet 
was seen flying eastward along the Durham 
shoreline 20 Nov (AEK, TPS). A long-staying 
American White Pelican frequented Oshawa 
Second Marsh 26 jun-11 Oct (m.ob.); per- 
haps the same bird flew along the Metro 
Toronto shoreline 9 Oct past the Leslie St. Spit 
(BTr et al.), the Toronto Islands (NCM et ah), 
and Rosetta McClain Gardens (WF FBB). No- 
table elsewhere was one at Gowganda L., 
Timiskaming 31 Aug-11 Sep (DD, GF, JQ, 
m.ob.), 14 off L. Superior RE, Algoma 14 Sep 
(WS), and 40 off Thunder Cape, Thunder Bay 
19 Sep QMW). A Great Blue Heron at 
Moosonee 13-21 Nov (EBM et al.) was excep- 
tionally late for s. James Bay. The roost at 
Luther Marsh, Wellington held 209 Great 
Egrets 25 Aug (DA, TH). Rare in the n., 2 


66 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


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Great Egrets were 80 km n. of Thunder Bay 
City 26 Aug (BA); the 33 at Shirley’s Bay 5 Sep 
(BMDL, BFDL) made a record high count for 
Ottawa. An ad. Little Blue Heron visited 
Coves Pond, London, Middlesex 1 Aug (LMg), 
and the Richmond Dr. wetland in Cornwall 
held a juv. 14-20 Sep (PS, m.ob.). Cattle 
Egrets were widely reported 25 Sep-26 Nov, 
mostly in ones and twos, but there were 10 at 
Reidville, Lennox & Addington 20 Oct (TN) 
and 14 on a cattle farm s. of Fallowfield Rd., 
Ottawa 26 Oct (PW, m.ob.); one at Wawa, Al- 
goma 8-12 Nov (PT et al.) was both rare and 
late for the north. An ad. Glossy Ibis visited P 
E. Pt. 23 Aug (DO, VC), and probably the 
same bird was seen on Amherst L, Lennox & 
Addington 25 Aug (K.EN.); one was at Hullett 
Marsh, Huron 26-31 Aug (NH, m.ob.), and 
Hillman Marsh, Essex held an unidentified 
Plegadis ibis 12-13 Sep (RHH et al.). 

A Black Vulture soared over the causeway to 
Ault 1., Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry 1 Oct 
(HvdZ), and one was flushed off roadside car- 
rion at Marie Louise L., Sleeping Giant P.P., 
Thunder Bay 30 Oct QMW, MEW et al). Setting 
an all-time record for the G.T.A. was the count 
of 53 Ospreys at Rosetta McClain Gardens 9 
Sep. The juv. Mississippi Kite at Holiday Beach 
C.A., Essex 8 Sep QMP) furnished the 3rd fall 
record for Ontario. Bald Eagles moved in excel- 
lent numbers, with a season total of 265 at 
H.C.H. being the 3rd highest in the past 10 
years, and 172 at H.B.M.O. the 2nd highest in 
36 years (compare this with one in 1974 and 0 
in 1975!). The Iroquois Shoreline Raptor Watch 
in Whitby had a count of 34 Bald Eagles 1 1 Sep, 
mostly subads. (MW), a new record for the 
G.T.A. The Atikokan town dump harbored over 
100 Bald Eagles in late Nov (DHE). Broad- 
winged Hawks poured over H.C.H. 14, 15, & 
17 Sep, contributing to a season total of 99,105. 
A dark-morph Swainson’s Hawk over Milford, 
Prince Edward 1 Sep (RWS) was record early for 


Ontario's third Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, a hatch-year bird, was banded at Thunder 
Cape, Thunder Bay District, Ontario 30 September 2010. Photograph by John Woodcock. 


Ontario. Very rare in the s., a juv. 

Krider’s Red-tailed Hawk was at 
Erieau, Chatham-Kent 20 Oct 
(GTS). The H.C.H. had its highest 
season total of Golden Eagle, 251, 
including counts of 40 on 1 Nov 
and 43 on 21 Dec, with a 6:1 ratio of 
subads. to ads. on both days. This 
was almost the most successful 
hawkwatch ever for H.C.H., with a 
total season tally of 151,448 birds 
narrowly missing the record 
151,726 in 2000. A very early gray- 
morph juv. Gyrfalcon was at 
Moosonee 11 Sep (PL et al.); Kettle 
Pt., Lambton had an ad. dark-morph 
Gyrfalcon 17 & 26-27 Nov (AHR). 

RAILS THROUGH 
SHOREBIRDS 

A late King Rail was at the Pelee 
Marsh Boardwalk 11 Nov (NET, 

WT). There were 700 American 
Coots on L. Simcoe at the s. end of 
Cook’s Bay, York 13 & 27 Nov 
(KRS, RJF MdvT), and Port Col- 
borne, Niagara had over 300 on 
28 Nov (BEF, JMF). In early Aug, 
blueberry pickers in the Atikokan area report- 
ed several Sandhill Cranes feeding in recent 
cutovers, apparently a new behavior locally 
(fide DHE). Cambray, Kawartha Lakes had a 
high count of 300 Sandhill Cranes 25 Sep 
(m.ob.); the 106 in five flocks over Sunder- 
land, Durham 1 Nov (RDJ) set a new record 
for the G.T.A. In addition, Ottawa had a 
record 108 sw. of Navan 14 Nov (m.ob.), and 
691 cranes were tallied along the L. Huron 
shore, Huron 24 Nov (JMH, DAM, RS). 

Two juv. American Golden-Plovers were 
very late at Moosonee 31 Oct-9 Nov (EBM et 
al). A Killdeer at Netitishi Pt. 15 Nov (BRH, 
AW) was extremely late, likely a reverse mi- 
grant due to warm tem- 
peratures and s. winds. 
Other very late shorebirds 
at Netitish Pt. were 10 
Black-bellied Plovers 17 
Nov, 2 Sanderlings 18 Nov, 
a White-rumped Sand- 
piper 17 Nov, and 45 Dun- 
lins 18 Nov (AW, BRH). 
Four American Avocets 
visited Kettle Pt., Lambton 
28 Oct (AHR); Sturgeon 
Creek held a juv. male 30 
Oct-7 Nov (STP, RPC et 
al.); and singles were at 
Schomberg S.L., York 24 
Nov (DJM) and Port Stan- 
ley, Elgin 29 Nov-1 Dec 


One of many seen off Van Wagners Beach, Hamilton County, Ontario 1 1 -30 
September 2011 was this juvenile Sabine's Gull, here 19 September. Photo- 
graph by Michael Veltri. 

QA, m.ob.). Single Willets were at Dundas 
Marsh, Hamilton 17 Sep (BKW) and Presqu’ile 
P.P. 25 Sep (DBr). Hudsonian Godwits were re- 
ported from several locations in low numbers 
(m.ob.), but 20 were at Fort Albany, Cochrane 
29 Sep (TC) and up to 7 at Dundas Marsh 1- 
23 Oct 0KB, m.ob.). A Hudsonian at Mitchell 
S.L., Perth 16 Aug (EJ, m.ob.) was joined by a 
Marbled Godwit 17 Aug (ST, m.ob.) and by 
another Marbled Godwit 19 Aug (RM, m.ob.), 
with all 3 remaining through 24 Aug; a Mar- 
bled was still there 15 Sep (KGB, JGB). A juv. 
Western Sandpiper was at Owen Pt., Presqu’ile 
P.P 31 Aug-1 Sep (DPS, IRS, m.ob.), and an- 
other was at Rock Point P.P, Haldimand 2 Sep 
(PY). The 32 White-rumped Sandpipers at Pit- 
tock L. 14 Oct QMH) marked a high count for 
Oxford. Baird’s Sandpipers had an exceptional 
season at Long Pt., with a high count of 18 at 
the Tip on 3 Sep (L.P.B.O.). Buff-breasted 
Sandpipers moved through traditional areas 
beginning in early Aug, with peak counts in- 
cluding 7 juvs. near Sault Ste. Marie, Algoma 
20 Aug (KWZ) and 6 at the Airport Rd., 
Hamilton sod farm 6 Sep QB)- Purple Sand- 
pipers first appeared at Long Point Tip 30 Oct 
(MVAB et al.), Oshawa harbor 31 Oct (RRP), 
the Leslie St. Spit 6 Nov (EOC), and Fifty 
Point C.A. 7 Nov (AEK); first at Netitishi Pt. 
were 7 on 17 Nov, then singles 18 & 20 Nov 
(AW, BRH). A male Ruff was photographed at 
Grand Bend S.L. 12 Aug (AHR), and one was 
at Odessa, Lennox & Addington 24 Aug (AKBR, 


VOlUME 65 (2011) 


NUMBER 1 


67 



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This Sage Thrasher visited Mission Island off the north shore of Lake Superior, Thun- 
der Bay District, Ontario on 9 October 2010. Photograph by John Scheliing. 



Claims of Orange-crowned Warbler in southern Ontario during early autumn are 
most often mistaken, but there is no question about this bird that appeared shortly 
after a strong cold front on 9 September 2010 at Glen Morris, Brant County, Ontario. 
Photograph by Thomas 6. Thomas. 



An immature male Painted Bunting was far from home as it fed on birdseed scat- 
tered beside a cottage on Gull Lake, Miners Bay, Haliburton County, Ontario 24-25 
(here 25) November 2010. Photograph by Robert Beeney. 


JHE). Extremely late Wilsons Phalaropes were 
one at the Blenheim S.L., Chatham-Kent 8 Oct- 
30 Nov-i- (GTS, IW, DW, m.ob.) and an ad. at 
the Mitchell S.L. 27-28 Nov (KC, m.ob.). A 
record-bigh count for tbe H.S.A., a flock of 26 
Red-necked Pbalaropes was seen from a boat 
off Fifty Point C.A. 30 Aug (BRH, EWH). At 
Point Pelee, 7 single Red Phalaropes flew past 


the Tip from 7 Sep-10 Oct 
(AW et ah); 4 were off VWB. 

9 Oct (RZD et al); and 6 
were at Netitishi Pt. 14 Nov 
(BRH). Exceptional num- 
bers of Red Phalaropes off 
Long Pt. included singles on 

10 days from 12 Oct-7 Nov, 
3 on 27 Oct, and 2 on 31 Oct 
(L.P.B.O.). 

GULLS 

THROUGH OWLS 

Single juv. Black-legged Kit- 
tiwakes were at Port Stanley 
7 Sep ODV), off V.W.B. 3 
Oct (DRD BRH) and 9 Nov 
(RZD, CEE), at Sturgeon 
Creek 27 Oct (SER), off the 
Burlington lakeshore, Hal- 
ton 30 Oct (RC), and in the 
Niagara R. gorge, Niagara 
26 Nov (WCDA, BP); at 
Netitishi Pt., 3 juvs. flew 
past 17 Nov (BRH, AW) and 
2 more juvs. on 20 Nov 
(BRH). The juv. Black- 
legged Kittiwake on Old 
Woman Bay, Lake Superior 
P.P. 28 Nov (FAF) was the 
first record ever for L. Supe- 
rior in the province. 
Sabine’s Gulls were counted 
in good numbers, with a to- 
tal of 62 off V.W.B. 11-30 
Sep (m.ob.), including a 
record one-day count of 33 
birds 17 Sep (RZD et al), 
and 16 including one ad. 19 
Sep (BRH et al.). A juv. 
Sabine’s Gull was on the 
Ottawa R. below the De- 
schenes Rapids 17 Sep 
(TFMB); one flew past the 
Tip of Point Pelee 18 Sep 
(AW); one was off Whitby 
19 Sep (GC); one was at Pt. 
Petre, Prince Edward 29 Sep 
(TH); 2 were at Pt. Edward, 
Lambton 3 Oct (AMB, BAM, 
JMR BMu); an ad. was on 
the river at Moosonee 14 
Oct (OJL, BTa); another ad. 
was on the mudflats at Ship Sands L, 
Cochrane 26 Oct (BRH, JLB); and a juv. land- 
ed briefly at the Tip of Long Pt. 4 Nov (RWW, 
m.ob.). Bonaparte’s Gulls may have had an 
exceptionally successful breeding season: 
3450 juvs. hew past Wheatley Harbour, 
Chatham-Kent 1 Sep (AW) at a time when 
ads. usually outnumber all other age classes 


combined. An estimated 30,000 Bonaparte’s 
Gulls were at Fort Erie, Niagara 27 Nov 
(MLJ, PBE); almost all of these were ads., as 
expected for late fall. An ad. Black-headed 
Gull foraged at the mouth of Wellington har- 
bor, Prince Edward 30 Oct (TH). Laughing 
Gull reports included a juv. at the Tip of Long 
Pt. four times from 16 Aug-5 Sep (RWW, 
m.ob.) and one at Rock Point P.P. 27 Aug 

r An expedition undertaken by Alan Wormington 
J.riand Brandon R. Holden visited Netitishi Pt, 
Cochrane District, on the s. shore of James Bay (51°17'W, 
80° 07' N) from 9-21 Nov. Comparisons were made to a 
similar visit to this same location by Wormington and R. 
Douglas McRae 14 Oct-24 Nov 1981. Although the fall 
season in 1981 was considered mild and late, it did not 
compare to the extraordinary 2010 season. After several 
days with temperatures above freezing and many insects 
still flying, including at least one bladcfly, winterfinally ar- 
rived on 19 Nov, with temperatures plummeting from 24° 
to 2° F overnight, accompanied by strong winds and bliz- 
zards of snow. Daily bird species totals were considerably 
higher in the recent expedition, ranging from 1 7 to 34 dur- 
ing 10-20 Nov, whereas numbers on the same dates in 
1981 ranged from seven to 25. 

One new species was added to the Ontario checklist, 
when a Sooty Shearwater was photographed arcing 
over the waves in early morning sunlight on 13 Nov. Sin- 
gle Dovekies provided first and 2nd records for n. Ontario, 
and a Varied Thrush a first record for the Hudson Bay Low- 
lands. Several species were seen in much greater numbers 
in 2010 than 1981, including extremely plump, late-stay- 
ing Sanderlings: 85 still feeding on exposed mudflats on 
17 Nov, compared with the last observation in 1981 of just 
a single bird on 7 Nov. Rough-legged Hawks were numer- 
ous during the entire period, including the last 6 birds at 
nearby Moosonee 22 Nov, compared to 1981 when none 
were seen after the last single on 4 Nov. Ring-billed Gull 
numbers were hugely higher, probably due to the late sea- 
son but also reflecting the increasing breeding population 
on James Bay: in 1 981 , the species was completely absent 
during the comparable dates, while in 2010, flocks of up to 
320 birds foraged at low tide until 17 Nov, vanishing as 
soon as the mudflats became ice-covered. A few species 
seen in 1981 were not observed in 2010, including North- 
ern Fulmar, Snowy Owl, and Evening Grosbeak. American 
Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, 
Greater Scaup and Lesser Scaup were all present in 2010, 
and in numbers, but none of these species were seen dur- 
ing the corresponding period in 1981. Only 2 Gyrfalcons 
were seen compared to a total of 29 in the comparable pe- 
riod in 1981, and numbers of Glaucous Gulls were signifi- 
cantly lower in 2010. 


68 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



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A female Summer Tanager frequented a feeder in Deep River, Renfrew County, 
Ontario from 15 (here 30) November into December 2010. Photograph by 
MkhaelJacques. 



This handsome male Spotted Towhee was a crowd-pleaser at feeders in Port 
Rowan, Norfolk County, Ontario 13 (here 21) November into December 2010. 
Photograph by Barry Cherriere. 


QBF); single ads. were on the beach at Port 
Stanley 10 Sep (MJN) and at V.W.B. 28-29 
Sep (BSC, m.ob.), and single hrst-winter 
birds were at Petrie I., Ottawa 5 Oct (DC), 
Leslie St. Spit 14 Oct (PNP), and Cobourg 29 
Oct (CEG). There were 200 Franklin’s Gulls 
at Rainy River 18 Aug (KGB); one was at the 
Port Stanley S.L. 6 Sep 0^), and one flew 
past Whitby 21 Nov (GC). A first-winter Cal- 
ifornia Gull roosted at the Tip of Long Pt. 4 
Nov (ALB, NAP, RWW); an ad. was seen from 
the Adam Beck overlook on the Niagara R. 
28-29 Nov (WCDA, BP, RGT, m.ob.). An ad. 
Vega Gull — that is, a Herring Gull of the e. 
Asian subspecies vegae- — -was at the Sault Ste. 
Marie landhll 30 Oct (ph., tKWZ). A provin- 
cial first, this taxon is considered by some au- 
thorities to be a distinct species. A juv. Arctic 
Tern was identified at V.W.B. 3 Oct (BRH). 

Pomarine Jaegers, all juvs., at VWB. in- 
cluded singles 3 (DRD) & 9 Oct (RZD et al), 
2 on 29 Oct QDV et al.), 3 on 11 Nov (RZD, 
JKB), and one 16 Nov ODy BNC, HGC). A 
dark-morph ad. Pomarine was at Presqu’ile 


PR 5 Sep (AGO; a juv. dark- 
morph was at Pt. Edward 3 Oct 
(AMB, BAM,JMP); single juvs. 
flew past Kettle Pt. 14 (AHR) 
& 15 Oct OHS); one was seen 
on L. Bernard at Sundridge, 
Parry Sound 17 Oct (SOD); 
and 5 singles were seen from 
Netitishi Pt. 13-20 Nov (BRH, 
AW). Parasitic Jaegers were 
widely reported, with a total of 
54 off VWB. 21 Aug-21 Nov 
(m.ob.); 20 there 11 Sep (BSC 
et al.) made the high count. 
Ottawa had a juv. Parasitic 2 
Sep (CB) and an ad. 26 Sep 
(MAG). Elsewhere, one was at 
Presqu’ile P. P. 5 Sep QS, 
m.ob.), one off the Tip of Long 
Pt. 11 (BAT) & 19 Sep 
(MVAB), 5 singles at Point 
Pelee from 16 Sep-23 Oct 
(m.ob.), 2 off Thickson’s Bay, 
Whitby 21 Sep (WDB, MRC), 
6 off Kettle Pt. 15 Oct QHS), 
and one at Guelph L. 22 Oct 
(JDV, DR, m.ob.), the first for 
Wellington. A total of 14 Long- 
tailed Jaegers was seen at 
V.W.B. 22 Aug-10 Oct (m.ob.), 
including a high count of 5 (2 
ads., 3 juvs.) 11 Sep (BSC, 
m.ob.). Between 17 and 23 
Sep, an ad., 2 subad., and a juv. 
Long-tailed lingered close to 
shore at V.W.B., giving stun- 
ning views to many birders 
(BSC, m.ob.). Elsewhere, a Long-tailed was at 
Mirimichi, Bruce 8 Sep QT), a juv. at the Tip 
of Point Pelee 13 Sep (AW, MBR), and 2 juvs. 
off Kettle Pt. 15 Oct QMH, JHS, RS), where 
one was found dead 4 Sep (GCM et al.; 
*ROM). Unidentified to species were 48 addi- 
tional jaegers at VWB. 23 Aug-21 Nov (fide 
RZD). 

Single Dovekies flew along the tideline at 
Netitishi Pt. 10 & 12 Nov (AW, BRH), pro- 
viding the first records for northern Ontario. 


A pure flock of 24 Black Guillemots rode out 
a storm close to shore at Netitishi Pt. 20 Nov 
(AW). A White-winged Dove appeared 
briefly at P. E. Pt. 13 Sep (BER) but could not 
be relocated. A Yellow-billed Cuckoo banded 
at Thunder Cape 1 Sep (JMW, MEW, SLS) was 
a rarity for Thunder Bay. A Barn Owl was un- 
expected near Short Hills PR, Niagara at 
dusk 16 Oct (GC). Northern Hawk Owls 
seen from the railway line to Moosonee in- 
cluded 2 on 25 Oct (BRH, JLB), 4 on 29 Oct 
(BRH, JLB), and 2 on 5 Nov (AW); one was 
beside the road to Jocko Pt. on the n. shore of 
L. Nipissing, Nipissing 31 Oct (CO, SA), one 
was in Moosonee 13 Nov (EBM), and 3 there 
27 Nov (EBM). A pair of Great Gray Owls 
feeding 2 young at Dizzy L. bog, Algonquin 
PR 3-24 Aug (LAP et al.) provided the 4th 
confirmed breeding record for the park; sin- 
gle Great Grays were seen at Neys PR, Thun- 
der Bay 6 Aug (NVG), at Rainy River 18 Aug 
(KGB), on a logging road near Oxtongue L., 
Haliburton 22 Aug QB), from the Moosonee 
railway 29 Oct (BRH, JLB), on Potter Rd. s. of 
Cochrane, Cochrane 4 Nov (AW), and at We- 
myss, Lanark 13 Nov (CJ). In stark contrast 
to fall 2009, not a single Boreal Owl was 
banded at Hilliardton Marsh, Timiskaming, 
but it was the 2nd best season ever for North- 
ern Saw-whet Owls, with over 700 banded in 
spite of many rainy nights (BDM); Prince Ed- 
ward Point B.O. banded 1021 Northern Saw- 
whet Owls this season (DO). 

GOATSUCKERS 
THROUGH CHICKADEES 

Common Nighthawks had another encourag- 
ing flight: 100+ hawked over Vermilion Bay, 
Kenora Aug 9 (LH), 150 over North Bay, 
Nipissing 15 Aug (MA), 78 near Devlin, Rainy 
River 21 Aug (MSD), 100+ at Thunder Bay 
City 22 Aug (R63:SI), 75 near Dalrymple, 
Kawartha Lakes 24 Aug (RAR), 63 at P. E. Pt. 
25 Aug (DO), and 117 over downtown Toron- 
to 31 Aug (IS). A male Chuck- will’s-widow at 
Panshawe C.A. 17 Sep (WGL, m.ob.) will be a 
first for Middlesex and a first fall record for the 
province if accepted by the O.B.R.C. An 


f A Long Point Bird Observatory on Lake Erie, the first bird observatory established in North America, celebrated its fiftieth 
Jrianniversary in 2010. Making the year truly memorable was probably the most productive fall season in Long Point's his- 
tory. Two new species were added to the local checklist: Western Wood-Pewee and Green-tailed Towhee. Other outstanding 
rarities included a flock of whistling-ducks, Long Point's 3rd Pacific Loon, 2nd and 3rd Spotted Towhees, 2nd Golden-crowned 
Sparrow, and 2nd Hooded Oriole. There was an astonishing passage of Cave Swallows at the end of Oct, with several hundred 
seen from the Tip to the base of Long Point in just a few days. Black-capped Chickadees staged the largest movement on record 
in Oct, with over 2000 banded; the previous seasonal high was 800. High numbers of Neotropical migrants included a record fall 
for Blackpoll Warblers. Baird's Sandpipers and Red Phalaropes were also seen in record numbers. Northern Saw-whet Owl band- 
ing produced the 3rd highest total on record, in spite of very windy conditions through Oct, and the overall total of banded birds 
was the highest for any fall since the Observatory was founded. A very fitting golden anniversary celebration! 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


69 



ONTARIO 


Anna’s Hummingbird visited a feeder in Cot- 
tam, Essex 25-30 Oct (PJH, TPH, m.ob), a first 
for Ontario if accepted by the O.B.R.C. Red- 
bellied Woodpeckers continue to increase 
across the province: a female n. to Marathon 
16 Nov hit a window and died (MTB, *ROM), 
The 6 American Three-toed Woodpeckers 
banded at Thunder Cape made a one-season 
record for T.C.B.O. QMW). Rarely reported in 
the province, a Red-shafted Flicker was at 
Thunder Cape i6 Sep QMW KRM). 

Olive-sided Flycatchers were widely re- 
ported: 4 at Presqu’ile PR 24 Aug (WDG) was 
a locally high count. A calling Western 
Wood-Pewee was closely studied and pho- 
tographed at the Tip of Long Pt. 27-28 Aug 
(RWW, m.ob.) for the hrst confirmed record 
for southern Ontario, and only the 2nd for 
the province. A stunning ad. male Vermilion 
Flycatcher, 5th for the province and the hrst 
ad., was photographed at Button Bay, Wolfe I. 
13 Oct (KR, SS, et al.) but never found again. 
An imm. Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, 3rd for 
the province, was banded at Thunder Cape 30 
Sep QMW, m.ob.). Single Western Kingbirds 
visited Sleeping Giant P.P. 26 Aug (AC), 
Marathon 7 Sep (MTB, ph.), and Killarney 
Village, Sudbury 25 Oct (CTB, MJB). An ad. 
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher could be hard to hnd 
during its long stay at Luther Marsh, Duffcrin 
2 Aug-1 Sep O&MT, GHC, DSC, m.ob.); one 
flew over helds near Walsingham, Norfolk 23 
Oct (MTT); and another hawked for flies 
around a house near L. Wolsey Marritoiilin 26 
Oct-16 Nov (KN, m.ob.). 

A remarkable movement of Gray Jays in- 
cluded a record 120 banded at Thunder Cape, 
where the previous high of 64 was set in 1995 
QMW); in Ottawa, singles were at Brittania 
C.A. 9 Oct (fide BMDL), Shirleys Bay 16 Oct 
(BMDL), and Dunrobin 17 & 23 Oct (TFMB, 
PW). Singles elsewhere were near Springville, 
Peterborough 16 Oct (BW, MBA), Barnums 
Gully, Elgin 17 Oct QMG), and Presqu’ile P.P. 
19 Oct (KA), while at Bedrock, Frontenac 31 
Oct (P&DS), Mallorytown, Leeds & Grenville 
7 Nov (KR), and Kingston 7 Nov (K.EN.), 
single Gray Jays were the hrst for the area 
since 2006; one near Wellesley 12 Nov (KW, 
LS) was a hrst for Water loo. At Holiday Beach, 
American Crows “became uncountable” 29 
Oct, with an estimated 60,000-90,000 passing 
the hawkwatch tower that day (fide TP). 
Some 8800 Horned Larks were following the 
L. Huron shoreline at Grand Bend, Larnbton 6 
Nov GMH). 

There were 2500+ Purple Martins at an 
abandoned quarry n. of the town of Rainy 
River 18 Aug (KGB); 1382 passed the hawk- 
watch tower at Holiday Beach 1 Sep (fide 
JMP), and a late single passed Pt. Edward 17 


Oct (BAM). A Purple Martin at Thunder Cape 
17 Aug QMW, MEW, SLS, AP) was a rarity for 
L. Superior, and a late martin at Holiday 
Beach 28 Oct was possibly not a Purple Mar- 
tin OMP)- A huge migration of 2000+ Cliff 
Swallows hew w. past Thunder Cape 16 Aug, 
with a further 1500 on 17 Aug QMW et ah); 
3 Cliff Swallows became the 200th species to 
be banded there by T.C.B.O. 

The first Cave Swallow for Ontario was recorded in 
Apr 1989, the next in Dec 1998. Since then, there 
have been irruptions of varying numbers, but in fall 2010, 
there was an unprecedented invasion of hundreds of Cave 
Swallows 25 Oct-9 Nov (with lesser numbers thereafter) 
apparently fueled by a strong low-pressure system. Swal- 
lows first appeared 25 Oct flying w. over the Niagara 
Peninsula in fast-moving flocks on very strong sw. winds, 
with 35 at V.W.B. (RZD, CEE) and 75 at Fifty Point C.A. (CEE, 
DRD), including at least 2 confirmed as Cave Swallows. 
The H.S.A. had had no swallows of any species since early 
Oct, so it was considered likely that most, probably all, of 
these birds were Cave Swallows. By 27 Oct, Cave Swallows 
had reached Long Pt., Point Pelee, and Holiday Beach. 
Point Pelee recorded 88 birds from 27 Oct-1 Nov (AW, 
m.ob.), while Long Pt. had SOO or more, with high counts 
28 Oct of 1 47 at Old Cut and 1 05 at the Tip, and 1 36 at Old 
Cut 30 Oct. The Rondeau Birding Area recorded at least 77 
[fide BAM) and the G.T.A. SO (fide RBHS) 30-31 Oct. The 
most easterly bird was one at Bond Head, Durham 2 Nov 
(JSB). The latest birds were on 24 Nov, with 2 at Morgans 
Point, Niagara (BEF, IMF) and one at Port Burwell, Elgin 
(ABA). Because of the numbers involved in this influx, the 
O.B.R.C. has removed Cave Swallow from the provincial 
Review List. 

There was a flight of thousands of Black- 
capped Chickadees across the s. of the 
province mid-Sep-early Nov; peak counts in- 
cluded 300 at Cobourg 9 Oct (CEG), 698 at 
Holiday Beach 22 Oct (LL), and 600 at P. E. 
Pt. 31 Oct (K.EN.). Among these flocks were 
occasional Boreal Chickadees traveling out- 
side their breeding range: singles were at Sun- 
dridge 14 Oct (SOD), Presqu’ile 21 Oct (DPS, 
RIS), Holiday Beach 1 Nov (GTH), and Bal- 
sam L., Kawartha Lakes 5 Nov (TGH); there 
were 5 singles in the G.T.A. from 21 Oct-8 
Nov (m.ob.) and 2 at Whitby 26 Oct (GC). 

WRENS THROUGH FINCHES 

A Carolina Wren was at Port Sydney, Miiskoka 
9 Sep QGd). The singing male Carolina Wren 
at the Algonquin Logging Museum 23-24 Sep 
(LAP et al.) was a first for Algonquin PR; one 
was also a good find at van Zant’s Landing, 
Manitoulin 9-29 Oct (DMS, m.ob.), and one 
remained at a feeder in North Bay through 29 


Oct (LC). A Northern Wheatear was on Petrie 

l. 16 Oct (GF). Single Townsend’s Solitaires 
were at Thunder Cape 10 QMW et al), 19 
OMW et al), and 22-24 Oct QMW, MEW, 
SJC); the first and last birds were caught and 
banded. An elusive ad. male Varied Thrush 
frequented the camp clearing at Netitishi Pt. 
10-15 Nov (AW, BRH), a first record for the 
Hudson Bay Lowlands; a female was near Ayr, 
Waterloo 25 Nov QBF). An ad. Northern 
Mockingbird was banded at Thunder Cape 11 
Aug QMW), and another was unexpected on 
the Moosonee waterfront 27-28 Aug (EBM). 
A Sage Thrasher was photographed on Mis- 
sion I., Thunder Bay 9 Oct OJS), and perhaps 
the same bird was in nearby Chippewa Park 
15 Nov (ALD). 

Bohemian Waxwings appeared widely by 
late Oct, with 23 at Burke’s Falls, Parry Sound 
26 Oct (PDP) and 50 feeding on winterberry 
in Laurier Woods, North Bay 28 Oct (DT); 
larger groups included 110 at Grand Bend 2 
Nov OMH), 75 at Cobalt, Timiskaming 24 Oct 
(BRH, JLB), 70 at Huntsville, Muskoka 5 Nov 
(BLT), and 60 at Port Perry, Durham 27 Nov 
(BS). Very early Orange-crowned Warblers in- 
cluded one at Glen Morris, Brant 9 Sep (TGT) 
and 2, locally record-early the same day at 
Point Pelee (MEC). A Yellow Palm Warbler 
was at Wildwood L. 24 Sep OMH, JGs, HA), 
and one was banded at the Tip of Long Pt. 8 
Nov (RWW et al). Late Northern Parulas in- 
cluded singles at Parry Sound 10 Nov (TJ) 
and Presqu’ile P.P. 11 Nov (FMH); record late 
for the H.S.A. was an imm. female at Aider- 
shot, Halton 11-17 Nov (TGT). An albilora 
Yellow-throated Warbler frequented a suet 
feeder in Wicklow, Northumberland 20 Oct+ 
(R&BK); another was at Bronte 31 Oct 
(WJC). Two Connecticut Warblers at Maple 
Pt. 19 Aug O&NS) were rarely seen fall mi- 
grants for Manitoulin. Three Yellow-breasted 
Chats at Point Pelee 13 Aug QDV) were early 
fall migrants; single imm. birds were banded 
at Long Pt. 4 (MVAB et al.) & 8 Sep (RWW et 
al); other singles were at Holiday Beach 6 Sep 
(fide RCP), Thunder Cape 20 Sep QMW), and 
Rondeau PR 29 Oct (IW, DW). 

An imm. Green-tailed Towhee was banded 
at the Long Pt. Tip 21 Oct (EP, JJC et al.) for 
Ontario’s 8th record; it was seen again nearby 
25 Oct (ALB). An imm. female Spotted 
Towhee of the Great Plains subspecies arcticus 
was banded at the Long Pt. Tip 28 Oct (ALB, 

m. ob.) and seen infrequently through 8 Nov, 
when the station closed; a male of the same 
subspecies visited feeders in Port Rowan, Nor- 
folk 13 Nov+ (G&PF, m.ob.). A male Eastern 
Towhee at Swastika, Timiskaming 26-30 Oct 
(AEB, MJL) was a rarity there. Record late for 
the H.S.A. was a Clay-colored Sparrow at a 



70 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



ONTARIO 


Dundas feeder 18-24 Nov (DBu). An imm. 
Lark Sparrow was at E E. Pt. 2 Oct (JHE, 
ROW). Rare in the n., a Grasshopper Sparrow 
was banded during its stay at Thunder Cape 
18-21 Oct OMW, MEW, m.ob.). Three differ- 
ent Le Conte’s Sparrows were at Point Pelee 8- 
9 (KRO, RME, MWH, JAH et al), 9 (BAM), & 
16 Oct 0MP)> 3nd one was near the Grand 
Bend S.L. 15 Oct (TPS); a Le Conte’s at Water- 
down, Hamilton 4-8 Nov (TGT, m.ob.) was 
only the 7th record for the H.S.A. and enjoyed 
by many. A Harris’s Sparrow at Sauk Ste. Marie 
26 Sep (KWZ) was the only report for the 
south. The first Golden-crowned Sparrow for 
Ottawa and eastern Ontario was a first-winter 
bird at a feeder in Beacon Hill, Ottawa 10-16 
Oct (GP, m.ob.); another imm. was at Old Cut, 
Long Pt. 30 Oct GBF, EKH), the 11th and 12th 
records for Ontario. A Pink-sided Junco 
(meamsi) at Woodbridge, York 29 Oct (LAP) 
was one of few records for the province. 

A female Summer Tanager visited feeders 
at Deep River, Renfrew 15 Nov-t (AS, ph. MJ), 
and one was at Port Elgin, Bruce 24 Nov+ 
(BMs, m.ob.). An ad. male Rose-breasted 
Grosbeak lingered at a feeder in Hungry Hol- 
low, Middlesex 21 Oct^- (JPC, m.ob.). An imm. 
Indigo Bunting was at Manitouwadge, Thun- 
der Bay 3-6 Nov (TBH), and green Painted 
Buntings visited feeders at Kincardine 25-28 
Nov QT, m.ob.) and Gull L., Miners Bay, Hal- 
iburton 24-25 Nov (RKB, LE). Single Dickcis- 
sels were heard in flight over the Long Pt. Tip 
29 Aug (RWW) and at P. E. Pt. just after dawn 
18 Oct (DO); one on waterfront lawns at 
Moosonee 8 Nov (AW) made a first local 
record, and one lingered n. of London 14-20 
Nov (RP, m.ob.). By sunset 25 Aug, 1350 
Bobolinks had come in to roost in a field near 
Luther Marsh (DA, TH). A very drab imm. 
Western Meadowlark was at the Tip of Point 
Pelee 19 Oct (AW, HTO). A male Yellow- 
headed Blackbird was at the Grand Bend S.L. 
20 Aug-4 Sep (AHR, m.ob.), and one visited 
a feeder in Little Current, Manitoulin 7 Nov 
(R&ET). A male Brewer’s Blackbird was on 
Opinicon Rd., Frontenac 15 Oct (MCo); a fe- 
male at Moosonee 24 Oct (EBM) was only the 
2nd record for s. James Bay. An imm. male 
Hooded Oriole, Ontario’s 3rd, was pho- 
tographed at the Tip of Long Pt. 8 Nov 
(RWW, m.ob.) but did not stay long. A Balti- 
more Oriole lingered through 27 Nov at Lam- 
beth, Middlesex (MCh). 

Most winter finches were scarce. The only 
sizeable flock of Pine Grosbeaks reported in 
the s. was a group of over 40 at Presqu’ile P.P. 
9 Nov (MR). Both crossbills were in very 
small numbers in the s., but at Netitishi Pt. 
13-21 Nov, flocks of up to 45 White-winged 
Crossbills were flying from west to east (AW, 


BRH). Also at Netitishi Pt., Hoary Redpolls 
outnumbered Commons, with high counts of 
15 on 10 Nov and 12 on 11 & 13 Nov (AW, 
BRH),'v/ith both redpoll species arriving dai- 
ly from the n., directly over the open waters 
of James Bay, before heading inland. A few 
redpolls had moved farther s. in the province 
by mid-Nov, with more expected later in the 
winter. Small flocks of Pine Siskins built up 
through Oct, and feeders in Delaware, Mid- 
dlesex hosted 100 birds 25 Nov (EW). 
Evening Grosbeaks appeared in small num- 
bers in mid-Oct, but few stayed for any 
length of time, though a feeder in Fenelon 
Falls, Kawartha Lakes attracted 103 on 22 
Nov QAC, DQB). 

Observers (subregional editors in boldface): 
Aaron B. Allensen, Holly Anderson, Karen 
Anderson, Dave Andrew, Sandra Arseneau, 
Mary-Beth Aspinall, Melanie Atkins, Barry 
Atkinson, Jeff Atkinson, Margaret J. C. Bain, 
Jerry S. Ball, W. Dennis Barry, Avery L. Bar- 
tels, Tony F. M. Beck, Robert K. Beeney, 
Christopher T. Beil, M. Joan Bell, Anthony 
C. T. Bigg, Ann E. Black, Patrick Blake, Jen- 
nifer L. Bock, Daniel Q. Bone, Peter BonEn- 
fant, Julian Botnick, David Bree (DBr), Bill 
Bright, Chris Bruce, Jacob K. Bruxer, Alvan 
Buckley, James G. Burrell, Ken G. Burrell, 
Mike V. A. Burrell, Dan Busby (DBu), 
Michael T. Butler, Frank B. Butson, Adam M. 
Byrne, Daniel Cadieux, Michael E. Carlson, 
Margaret R. Carney, Stacey J. Carnochan, A. 
Geoffrey Carpentier, Richard P. Carr, Donna 
S. Cassidy, Gordon H. Cassidy, J. Peter Chap- 
man, Stephen R. Charbonneau, Janice J. 
Chard, Barbara N. Charlton, Barry S. Cher- 
riere, Ted Cheskey, Luanne Chowns, Mike 
Chute (MCh), Ken Clarke, Vicky Clowater, 
Glenn Coady, John A. Collinson, Mike Con- 
boy (MCo), Adam Cousins, WilliamJ. Crins, 
Hugh G. Currie, Robert Curry, Willie C. 
D’Anna, Alexander L. Darling, Andrew L. 
Davis, Michael S. Dawber, Ben E Di Labio, 
Bruce M. Di Labio, Robert Z. Dobos, David 
R. Don, Dana Durling, Carolle D. Eady, 
Cheryl E. Edgecombe, Joel H. Ellis, David H. 
Elder, Chris J. Ellingwood, Larry Epp, Robert 
M. Epstein, Nicholas G. Escott, Gary Fair- 
head, Blayne E. Farnan, Jean M. Farnan, 
George & Pat Finney, Friedrich A. Fischer, 
Walter Fisher, Ron J. Fleming, Giselle Foster, 
Lev A. Frid, J. Brett Fried, Mark A. Gawn, 
William D. Gilmour, Clive E. Goodwin, Jon 
Grandfield QCd), Jeff Gross OGs), Tammie 
B. Hache, Timothy G. Handley, Everett Han- 
na, Thomas A. Hanrahan, Fred M. Helleiner, 
Erika K. Hentsch, G. Tom Hince, Tyler Hoar, 
Brandon R. Holden, Eric W. Holden, Norman 
Holden, James M. Holdsworth, Randy H. 


Holland, Joanne A. Hubinger, Mark W. Hub- 
inger, Laurie Huffman, Peggy J. Hurst, 
Thomas E Hurst, Rob & Sharon Illingworth, 
Marcie L. Jacklin, Tina Jacobson, Michael 
Jacques, Ross D. James, Eric Jefferey, Dan 
Kaczynski, Andrew E. Keaveney, Roy & Bar- 
bara Kempton, Paul Lantz, Michael J. Leahy, 
Simon Lee, O. jerry Lewchyshyn, Christina 
A. Lewis, William G. Lindley, Larry Ludwic- 
ki, Robert Maciver, Stuart A. Mackenzie, Lin- 
da Manfred (LMd), Len Manning (LMg), 
Blake A. Mann, Eric B. Marcum, David A. 
Martin, Jason McGuire, Gail C. McNeil, 
David J. Milsom, Bernie Monette (BMn), Bar- 
ry Moss (BMs), Brian L. Morin, Brad Murphy 
(BMu), Bruce D. Murphy, Norman C. Murr, 
Kyle R. Myschowada, Michael J. Nelson, Ken 
D. Niles, Ken Noland, Todd Norris, Ed O’- 
Connor, Stephen O’Donnell, David Okines, 
Henrietta T. O’Neill, Cal Osborne, Thomas 
Ouchterlony, Karl R. Overman, Eleanor Page, 
Martin J. Parker, Giovanni Pari, James M. 
Pawlicki, Neil A. Pearson, Todd Pepper, 
Robert C. Pettit, Stephen T. Pike, Betsy Pot- 
ter, Adrien Powis-Clement, Paul D. Pratt, 
Paul N. Prior, Reinholt Prokraka, Rayfield R. 
Pye, Jack Quick, Peter A. Read, Marianne B. 
Reid, Ron A. Reid, Alf H. Rider, Maureen Rig- 
gs, Daniel Riley, Garth Y Riley, Bruce E. Rip- 
ley, Ken Robinson, A. K. Bud Rowe, Sarah E. 
Rupert, Garry T. Sadler, Lynn Sayers, John J. 
Schelling, John Schmelefske, Tim P. Snieder, 
Paul Schoening, Sachiko L. Schott, Steven 
Seiffert, Kevin R. Shackleton, Donald P. 
Shanahan, Ian R. Shanahan, David M. 
Shilman, Thomas Shoebridge, Jeff H. Skev- 
ington, Richard Skevinton, Matt K. Slaymak- 
er, Betsy Smith, John & Nicole Smith, Roy B. 
H. Smith, William Sonzogni, P. & D. Spaar, 
Robert W. Stamp, Ian Sturdee, Allan Symons, 
Dick Tafel, Brian Tannahill (BTa), Nancy E. 
Tar, William Tar, J. Michael Tate, Barbara L. 
Taylor, Thomas G. Thomas, Rod Thompson, 
Steve Thorpe, Adam Timpf, Matthew T. 
Timpf, Evan Timusk, Brendan A. Toews, John 
& Michelle Toniins, Ron & Evelyn Towns, 
Doug C. Tozer, Ronald G. Tozer, Pat Trem- 
blay, Brett Tryon (BTr), James Turland, Mike 
van den Tillart, Joshua D. Vandermeulen, 
Hans van der Zweep, Nicole Vella-Geldhart, 
Kenneth Walton, Ronald D. Weir, Emily 
White, Bryan Whitfield, Michael Williamson, 
Anthony Wood (AWd), Ross W. Wood, John 
M. Woodcock, Maureen E. Woodcock, P. 
Allen Woodliffe, Irene Woods, Alan Worm- 
ington, David B. Worthington, Philip Wright, 
Dale Wurker, Brian K. Wylie, Peter Yeorg, 
Kirk W. Zufelt. © 


Margaret J. C. Bain, 219 Albert Street 
Cobourg, Ontario K9A 2R6, (mjcbain@sympatico.ca) 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


71 


Eastern Highlands & Upper Ohio River Valley 


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Harrisburg^ PMadelphia.- 

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Victor W. Fazio, III 

RickWiltraut 


T he signature season for vagrants, au- 
tumn 2010 did not disappoint. Storm 
fronts rolled in off the Great Plains, 
bringing an eastward shift in migration, espe- 
cially among waterfowl, with record numbers 
of Ross’s Geese and Cackling Geese found in 
Ohio. Cattle Egret records show a bimodal 
pattern, with a peak in the first week of Sep- 
tember and another from late October 
through November. Given the hiatus between 
these peaks, the later birds may be waifs from 
the south and/or west of the Region. The late- 
season Cave Swallow flight, now an annual 
occurrence, continues to be the clearest exam- 
ple of reverse migration through the Region. 

Abbreviations: B.E.S.R (Bald Eagle S.R, Cen- 
tre, PA); Buck Creek (Buck Creek S.P., Clark, 
OH); B.R.A. (Black River Audubon); Byrd 
Dam (R. C. Byrd Locks and Dam, Mason, 
WV); Caesar Creek (Caesar Creek Res. and 
S.R, Warren/ Greene, OH); Chambers L. (in 
Chester, PA); Conneaut (Conneaut Marsh and 
Harbor, Ashtabula, OH); G.L.R. (Green Lane 
Res., Montgomery, PA); EH. (Fish Hatchery); 
Green Bottom (Green Bottom W.M.A., Mason, 
WV); Headlands (Headlands Beach S.R and 
environs. Lake, OH); H.M.S. (Hawk Moun- 
tain Sanctuary, Berks, PA); Killdeer Plains 
(Killdeer Plains W.M.A., Wyandot/Marion, 
OH); Magee (Magee Marsh W.M.A., Ot- 
tawa/Lucas, OH); M.C.W.M.A. (Middle Creek 
W.M.A., Lancaster/Lebanon, PA); M.H.H.W. 
(Militia Hill hawkwatch, Fort Washington 
S.P, Montgomery, PA); Ottawa (Ottawa 
N.W.R., Lucas/Ottawa, OH); P.A.B.L. (Penn- 
sylvania Bird Listserve); PI. S.P. (Presque Isle 
S.P, Erie, PA); S.R.C.E (Susquehanna R. at 
Conejohela Flats, Lancaster/Lebanon, PA). 

WATERFOWL THROUGH VULTURES 

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks in Pennsyl- 
vania included one at Chambersburg, 
Franklin 14 Aug (S. Powers) and 2 at Mohn- 
ton, Berks 3-8 Aug (L. Koch, B. Murse). 
Ohio’s 2nd Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 
wandered the L. Erie shoreline in Erie, pre- 
ferring Pipe Creek W.M.A. 13-14 Aug (L. 


Richardson, m.ob.); it briefly ventured farther 
e. to the Vermilion lakefront (T. Stahl). An- 
other, or possibly the same bird, was discov- 
ered 26 Oct at Buckeye L., Bluffton, Allen (L. 
Houshower, KO, m.ob.), where it remained 
into the winter period. A strong flight of 
Greater White-fronted and Snow Geese into 
the w. portion of the Region brought with it 
record numbers of both Cackling and Ross’s 
Geese to w. Ohio. The 101 Greater White- 
fronteds and 269 Snows tallied in 
Ohio were at the upper end of such 
flights in recent decades. Flocks of 
55 Greater White-fronted Geese at 
Killdeer Plains 26 Nov (B. Whan) 
and 35 at St. Mary’s EH., Auglaize 
11 Nov (J. Bowers) led Ohio re- 
ports, while Snows were scattered 
across a dozen counties involving 
up to 130 at Bresler Res., Allen 26 
Nov (fide VF) and 33 at Deer Creek, 

Pickaway 29 Nov (E. Reiner). An 
early Snow 12 Sep on the Bowling 
Green State University, Firelands 
campus, Erie Q- & M. Krause) was 
at the vanguard. Reports in West 
Virginia were topped by a flock of 
98 at Prickett’s Fork S.R, Monon- 
galia 0- Herron). In the five fall sea- 
sons prior to this one, combined re- 
ports of Cackling Goose from Ohio 
totaled 82 birds. This season, 98 
were reported, led by a state-record 
flock of 40 at Killdeer 27 Nov (A1 La 
Sala) and 24 in Paulding 24 Nov 
(DSr). (Observers are reminded to 
consider the possibility of the simi- 
lar Lesser Canada Goose, B. c. 
paiyipes, which has yet to be docu- 
mented in the Region.) Over the same five- 
season span, there were 12 total Ross’s Geese 
in Ohio; another 11 were added this fall 
(Table 1). 

A small Brant flight in Ohio began with one 
at Conneaut 12-15 Oct (MV, B&DL, m.ob.) 
and ended with a rare w. Ohio report, a bird 
in Paulding near Haviland 18-26 Nov 
(D&MD, D. & T. Puckett, m.ob.) for a coun- 
ty first. A tally of 497 Tundra Swans came 
from Stone Mt. hawkwatch 23 Nov (D. 
Kyler). West Virginia flights of 294 in Monon- 


Table 1 . The fall 201 0 flight of Ross's Geese through Ohio. 

Date 

No. 

Location 

Observer(s) 

22 Nov 

4 

Wellington Res., Lorain, OH 

D. Linzelletal. 

23 Nov 

1 

Deer Creek S.P., Pickaway, OH 

RR 

23 Nov 

1 

Sugar Creek, Tuscarawas, OH 

R. Schlabach 

25-26 Nov 

3 

Men, OH 

K0,J. Fox 

26 Nov 

2 

Grand Lake/St. Mary's, Augiaize, OH 

JHg, S. Egleston 


galia 16 Nov (DC) and 200 in Preston 21 Nov 
(GF) provide a clearer picture of the route 
taken over the mts. to reach the coastal plain. 

Ohio’s 2nd fall record of Cinnamon Teal, a 
female, was documented at Lorain Harbor, 
Lorain 6-8 Sep (ph. JBr, GLy, m.ob.). Rare in 
fall, a drake Eurasian Wigeon was found at 
Ottawa 23 Oct QP)- Four Northern Pintails, 
including one ad. male, were on Tug Fork of 
the Big Sandy, Mingo, WV 9 Aug Q- Carr). 


Some 11,900 Lesser Scaup were counted at 
P.l.S.P 17 Nov QM)- A Ring-necked Duck in 
Pocahontas, WV 5 Aug (C. Bailey, S. Kearns) 
was well out of place in the s. mountains. An 
imm. King Eider off Rocky River Park, Cuya- 
hoga, OH 18 Nov QBr, JT, S. Wagner) was 
part of the massive waterfowl flight that day. 
The Central Basin flight of scoters in Ohio 
was average for recent years, involving about 
120 Black, 20 Surf, and 10 White-winged (N 
Anderson, JP, m.ob.) mid- through late Nov. 
Another 15 Surf Scoters were scattered across 
six interior Ohio counties, with the high 
count of 6 at Caesar Creek 6 Nov (J. 
Moore). Away from L. Erie, scoters in 
Pennsylvania included 22 Surfs in seven 
counties 4 Oct-28 Nov, 52 Blacks in 10 
counties 25 Oct-30 Nov (m.ob.), and 15 
White-wingeds in six counties 31 Oct-16 
Nov (m.ob.). Up to 18 Surfs were at Rl.S.P. 
5 Oct OM). srid 24 Blacks were there 18 
Nov OM). Some 81 White-winged Scoters 



After a brief August 201 0 visit by Ohio's second Black-bellied Whistling- 
Duck, this bird appeared in rural western Allen County 26 (here 28) Octo- 
ber and remained into the winter period. Photograph by Kim Graham. 


72 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


EASTERN HIGHLANDS & UPPER OHIO RIVER VALLEY 



Reports of Cattle Egrets in Pennsylvania have been scarce in recent years, so 30 or 
more in ten counties 17 August through 22 November 2010 made an excellent show- 
ing. This bird in Marshall Township, Allegheny County 5-19 (here 16) November 2010 
provided a second county record. It followed a herd of Scottish highland cattle for 
its entire stay. Photograph by Geoff Malosh. 



Although the species is seen annually on Lake Erie, this juvenile Sabine's Gull at Met- 
zger Marsh, Lucas County, Ohio represented a rare record for the Western Basin so 
late in the season: 21-26 (here 24) November 2010. Photograph by Matt Valendc 


were tallied there during waterbird surveys 
16 Oct-29 Nov OM)- -A meager 14 Long- 
tailed Ducks at B.E.S.P., Centre, PA 16 Nov 
(A. Lamoreaux), and just 5 for Ohio (1. 
Schmidt, IK, JBr), were indicative of the weak 
flight, although one reached Jefferson, WV 14 
Nov (MO). 

Northern Bobwhite are exceedingly rare in 
ne. Ohio, so the report of 4 in Newbury Twp., 
Geauga 3 Nov (M. Sedivy) was most wel- 
come. Ohio’s 5 th Pacific Loon was discovered 
at Caesar Creek 31 Oct by the same observer 
who documented the state’s 4th record from 
the same location this past spring 1 May (ph. 
RA). The fall bird was enjoyed by many 
through 11 Nov (KO, B. Sparks, J. Marvin, 
m.ob.). The Common Loon flight on L. Erie 
was modest and brief, with high counts of 
1189 in Cuyahoga, OH 18 Nov QBr) and 787 
at Pl.S.P the same day QM)- Elsewhere in 
Pennsylvania, 235 flew past H.M.S. 19 Nov 
(LG). Away from L. Erie, 15 Red-throated 
Loons were recorded in Pennsylvania in sev- 
en counties 1-26 Nov (m.ob.). A healthy 148 
Red-throated Loons were tallied at Pl.S.P. 13 
Oct-29 Nov QM). In Ohio, 7 were seen along 
L. Erie 18 Oct-28 Nov (m.ob.), and an equal 
number was reported inland, with singles in 
Warren 6 Nov (PKr, L. Houser, J. Moore), 
Clark 7 Nov (DO), Pickaway 23 Nov (RR), 
and Holmes 24 (2; E. Schlabach et al.) & 28 
Nov (The Bobolink) . A modest 20 Red-necked 
Grebes were reported in Pennsylvania in nine 
counties 6 Oct-28 Nov (m.ob.). Rare farther 
w. in Ohio, singles were at Acton L., 
Preble/Butler 15 Nov (MGi, J. Stenger, H. 
Abramson), at Dillon S.P, Muskingum 16 Oct 
(ph. DSr), at Chippewa L., Medina 1 Oct 
(KOs), and at Guilford L., Columbiana 24 
Oct-6 Nov (BL, m.ob.). The only report from 
the Central Basin of L. Erie was of 4 at Ca- 
hoon Park, Cuyahoga 28 Nov (C. Kluskens). 
A very early Horned Grebe was pres- 
ent at Lorain Harbor, Lorain, OH 6-12 
Sep (GLy, IK, m.ob.). The fall 
lakeshore flight was highlighted by 
1087 Horneds at Rocky River Park, 
Cuyahoga, OH 15 Nov (M. Sandy) 
and 269 at Pl.S.P 16 Nov QM). Eared 
Grebes in Pennsylvania included sin- 
gles at Canoe Creek S.P., Blair 17 Sep 
OB), B.E.S.E 6 Nov 0- Verica), and 
Pl.S.P. 28 Nov (MS); another was at La 
Due Res., Geauga, OH 26 Oct (DG et 
al.). An Eared Grebe at Alpine L., Pre- 
ston, WV 8-10 Nov (GF, ph. DC, 
m.ob.) represents the state’s first fully 
documented record. 

An American White Pelican was re- 
ported by a duck hunter on the 
Susquehanna R. near Dalmatia, 


Northumberland, PA 14 Oct 
(fide SW). Notable overland 
flights of Double-crested 
Cormorants involved 1125 
birds 26 Sep and 910 on 9 
Sep over Ohio Wesleyan 
campus, Delaware (SWs) 
and 600 over Shawnee 
Lookout, Hamilton 26 Sep 
(MGi). A Snowy Egret lin- 
gered at Ottawa Marsh and 
Magee Marsh 15-16 Oct 
QHu, MR, C. Cogar). A 
good showing of 11 Little 
Blue Herons was in Bucks, 

PA 11-29 Aug (fide AM). 

Away from L. Erie, single 
imm. Little Blue Herons 
were at Paint Creek S.P, 

Highland, OH 8 Oct (G. 

Cornett), at Tappan L., Har- 
rison, OH (S. Pendleton), 
and in Carey, Wyandot, OH 
5 Sep (EM). In Pennsylva- 
nia, 30-r Cattle Egrets were 
tallied in 10 counties 17 
Aug-22 Nov (see Table 2); 
one e. to North Ridgeville, 

Lorain 3 Oct (D. Doyle) was 
rare in ne. Ohio. Eight Yel- 
low-crowned Night-Herons 
made a high count at West 
Fairview, Dauphin, PA 19 
Aug (R. Koury); an ad. at 
Chagrin River Park, Lake, 

OH 2 Nov was late QP); and 
a juv. was a rare find in the 
e. Panhandle in Berkeley, 

WV 2-14 Aug (A. Tsiatsos, MO). More typical 
was a Yellow-crowned at Riverside, Butler, 
OH 8 Aug (C. Saunders). A Glossy Ibis at Old 
Crow wetland, Huntingdon, PA 8-9 Aug fur- 


nished a first county record (D. Kyler), and 
one at Green Bottom, Mason 2-12 Oct (T. 
Deal, D. Patick, MG, WA) was rare for West 
Virginia. Two Plegadis ibis were at Funk Bot- 
toms W.A., Wayne, OH 28-31 Aug (C. Harner, 
H. Nagy, R. Ricks), with singles at Sandy 
Ridge, Lorain, OH 1-5 Sep (B.R.A., DG, JBr, 
m.o.b.) and at Crane Cr. estuary, Lucas, OH 8 
Oct (MR). White Ibis reports in Pennsylvania 
included one on the Juniata R. at Millerstown, 
Periy 15-17 Aug (T. Petersheim) and 6 at 
Wildwood L., Dauphin 23 Aug (L. lines). A 
White Ibis also appeared in the s. mts. of 
West Virginia at Bluestone Dam, Summers 22 
Aug-1 Sep 0- Phillips, MO, WSn). Single 
Black Vultures reached L. Erie at Headlands 
14 & 26 Sep QT, R. Hannikman, K. Savides, P. 
Lozano, CDi). 

KITES THROUGH CRANES 

News of a family party of Mississippi Kites, 2 
ads. and 2 juvs. at a nest, came to light in mid- 
Aug from private property at Hideaway Hills, 


Table 2. Notable records Cattle Egret in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and 

West Virginia, fall 2010. 

Date 

No. 

Location 

Observer(s) or source 

22 Oct 

7 

Armstrong, PA 

B. Shearer 

23 Oct 

1 

Apple Creek, Wayne, OH 

The Bobolink 

28 Oct 

10 

Preston, WV 

J. Kaly 

late Oct 

1 

Berlin, Holmes, OH 

Steven Miller 

5 Nov* 

1 

Butler, Knox, OH 

Junior Niseley 

6-30 Nov* 

1 

Barrs Mills, Tuscarawas, OH 

L. Erb, H. Mason 

10 Nov 

1 

Shreve, Wayne, OH 

A. Troyer 

11-23 Nov 

1 

St. Mary's F.H., Auglaize, OH 

C. Moore, i. Bowers et al. 

15 Nov 

1 

Emporium, Cameron, PA 

M. Johnson 

19 Nov 

1 

Marshall Twp., Allegheny, PA 

GM 

20 Nov 

1 

Paulding, OH 

S. Meyers, fide D&MO 

22 Nov 

2 

Hershey, Dauphin, PA 

P. Kepple 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


73 



EASTERN HIGHLANDS & UPPER OHIO RIVER VALLEY 





Baird's Sandpiper had an excellent showing in Pennsylvania in fall 2010, with 70 or 
more recorded in 1 9 counties from 7 August through 21 October 2010. This Baird's 
was at Independence Marsh, Beaver County 28 September 2010. Photograph by 
Geoff Malosh. 



A rare fall visitor to Pennsylvania, this Red Phalarope was present at Presque Isle 
State Park, Erie County on 28 November 2010. Photograph by Jerry McWilliams. 



This Northern Saw-whet Owl was one of 46 captured at Little Gap Bird Observatory, 
Northampton County, Pennsylvania on 2 November 2010. A record 265 were cap- 
tured at this site 7 October through 22 November, including 15 foreign recaptures. 
Photograph by Rick Wiltraut. 



This female Anna's Hummingbird, present since October 2010 at Shartelsville, Berks County, Pennsyl- 
vania, was banded 21 (here 25) November, confirming a first state record. It remained through the 
end of the period. Photograph by Rick Wiltraut. 


Hocking (Elizabeth vanBalen Delphia, fide J. McCormac). Providing Ohio’s 
first evidence of nesting, these birds were subsequently documented 21 Aug 
by many (DSr, ph. D. Adams, m.ob.). A migrant Mississippi Kite was report- 
ed at M.H.H.W. 11 Sep (A. Payer), and a Swallow-tailed Kite passed 
M.C.W.M.A. 5 Aug (fide J. Cochran). An excellent tally of 10,118 Sharp- 
shinned Hawks came from Waggoner’s Gap, Cumberland, PA during the sea- 
son (PA.B.L.). A record-high 406 Bald Eagles were counted during the season 
at H.M.S. (LG), and 458 were recorded at Waggoner’s Gap during the season 
(P.A.B.L.). Swainson’s Hawk reports included a dark morph at H.M.S. 16 Sep 
(D. Barber, J. Jehl, RK), a light morph at M.H.H.W. 22 Oct (RC, AF), and a 
light morph at Churchville Park, Bucks 23 Oct (B. Lishman). A daily high of 
10,146 Broad-winged Hawks was tallied at M.H.H.W. 21 Sep, with a season 
total of 18,332 (RC, AF). A dark-morph Western Red-tailed Hawk was found 
at Heritage Park, Franklin, OH 29 Nov (GSt). On 20 Nov, the Prairie Falcon 
returned to Mud Level Rd., Cumberland, PA (M. Sabatine). 

In addition to 2 King Rails reported in the Western Basin marshes 9 & 20 
Aug (TB, MSh), one was at Ashton wetlands. Mason, WV 3 Oct (WA). Two 
Yellow Rails were flushed from a hayfield in e. Wayne, OH 16 Oct (The 
Bobolink). An imm. Purple Gallinule was at 600 m elevation in the Alleghe- 
ny N.E at Kane, McKean, PA 19-24 Oct (ph. R. Holland). A Common 
Moorhen lingered in Lucas, OH through 4 Nov (J. VanAllen). The first Sand- 
hill Cranes flew over H.M.S. 17 Sep (LG). By the end of the period, 190 had 
been detected along Ohio’s w. flyway, led by 55 in Paulding 20 Nov (A. 
Sewell), 50 in Wyandot 27 Nov (A1 La Sala), and 36 as far e. as Morrow 27 Nov 
(LK). Birds staging at Funk Bottoms W.M.A., Wayne, OH numbered 115 by 
23 Nov (SS). Four birds at Slate Run Metro Park, Pickaway 1 Aug and 7 Sep 
(GSt) were unexpected for s.-cen. Ohio. Singles flew over Preston, WV 24 Nov 
(GF) and Jefferson, WV 26 Nov (C. Packer). 


74 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



EASTERN HIGHLANDS & UPPER OHIO RIVER VALLEY 


SHOREBIROS THROUGH TERNS 

A flock of 27 American Golden-Plovers was at 
Mt. Pleasant Rd., Lebanon, PA 8 Oct (M. 
Epler). Two record-late (for the Central 
Basin) Semipalmated Plovers were at Con- 
neaut 6 Nov (GLy). The L. Erie flight of 
American Avocets through Ohio numbered at 
least 38; flocks of 10 each were at Sandy 
Ridge, Lorain 1 Sep (B.R.A.) and Conneaut 15 
Aug (GM). Inland reports totaled 13, includ- 
ing 5 at Caesar Creek 27 Oct (LG) and singles 
in Mahoning 15-18 Aug (B. Jones), Summit 14 
Oct (GBt), Darke 6-30 Sep (T. White, RSz), 
and Richland 12 Sep (ph. K. Weeman), all rare 
county records. Avocets in Pennsylvania in- 
cluded 3 in Bucks: one on 18 Aug (DP) and 2 
at Peace Valley Park 3 Sep (G. & M. Constan- 
tine). Pive Spotted Sandpipers at Buck Creek 
S.P., Clark, OH 1 Nov (M. Hatfield) were 
tardy. Seven Ohio Whimbrels appeared along 
the L. Erie shoreline 5 Aug-12 Sep (C. Craw- 
ford, MSh, B&DL), including 3 at Pipe Creek 
W.A., Erie (IK). Rare inland, 5 appeared at 
Killbuck Marsh W.M.A., Wayne 12 Sep (G. 
Hochstetler). A tally of 520 Lesser Yellowlegs 
at Ottawa 9 Oct (MSh) is just shy of the high- 
est Oct count for Ohio. Willet reports in 
Pennsylvania included 7 at P.I.S.P. 14 Aug (]. 
Hill III), Long Arm Dam, York 19-23 Aug 
(MW), Chambers L., Chester 17 Sep (fide 
HM), and 3 at Blue Marsh L., Berks 28 Oct Q- 
Silagy). The 19 Willets in Ohio, led by 7 at 
Ottawa 23 Aug (MSh), were almost exclusive- 
ly seen in the Western Basin marshes; 2 in- 
land were at Hoover 17 Aug 0 - Holsinger). 
Seven Upland Sandpipers at Lancaster air- 
port, Lancaster, PA 2 Aug made a nice count 
(B. Carl); the only Ohio report came from 
Hancock 6 Sep (2; RSs). A modest Ohio flight 
of Hudsonian Godwits brought 23-38 to Ot- 
tawa 7-15 Oct (KK, MSh, m.ob.), with 11 re- 
maining 1 Nov (MSh). Nine were at Con- 
neaut 4 Aug (CH), 3 at Lorain, Lorain 3 Oct 
QP), and a single bird inland at Mosquito L., 
Trumbull, OH 5-15 Oct (CH, B&DL, CBa). 
Hudsonian Godwits in Pennsylvania included 
one at Core Creek S.P., Bucks 28-30 Sep (fide 
AM) and one at Beltzville L., Carbon 28 Sep 
(D. Welch). There were nine reports involv- 
ing up to 26 Marbled Godwits in Ohio. Ot- 
tawa held flocks 17-24 Sep (7; L. Bonneau, 
DSa), 7-24 Oct (3-5; KK, SJ), and 9-18 Nov 
(4; D. Collopy, GCr, JHg, MSh). Six more 
were along the L. Erie shoreline, with singles 
e. to Conneaut 4 & 15 Aug (CH); one was in- 
land at Hoover 23-28 Aug (CBo); and 5 were 
at Mosquito L., Trumbull 7 Oct (CBa). 

The 17 Red Knots in Ohio 1 Sep-29 Oct 
(DG, MR, BWr, G. Apte) peaked 22 Oct with 
9 at Ottawa (KK). Red Knots reported in 
Pennsylvania included 4 at G.L.R. 15 Aug (K. 


Reiker et ah), one at P.I.S.P 
4-5 Sep QM), and one at 
Peach Bottom, Lancaster 20 
Sep (BS), plus 2 late at 
P.I.S.P. 28 Oct (MW). A 
healthy 240 Sanderlings on 
the Crane Cr. estuary, Lucas, 

OH 22 Oct (KK) grew to an 
astonishing 500 on 29 Oct 
(A. Crary), increasing to a 
state-record 615 by 9 Nov 
(MSh). Ohio Semipalmated 
Sandpipers lingered in Lo- 
rain until 22 Oct (P. Hell- 
man) and in Wan en through 
20 Oct (3 birds; LG). A late 
Least Sandpiper was in 
Highland 26 Nov (MGi). 

Baird’s Sandpipers in Penn- 
sylvania numbered 70+ individuals in 19 
counties 7 Aug-21 Oct (m.ob.), with a high 
count of 16 at Shenango Res., Mercer 19 Sep 
(GM). Ohio birds were distributed across the 
Western Basin marshes (24) and the Central 
Basin (12), with another 47 inland, with a 
high count of 12 at Hoover 31 Aug-8 Sep 
(BWr, D. Linzell). The 23 Western Sandpipers 
reported from 1 1 Ohio counties was average 
for the season and included 2 at Ottawa 7 Nov 
(DV et al.). A modest flight of White-rumped 
Sandpipers was topped by 33 at Ottawa 9 Sep 
(MSh). The peak count of Dunlin at Ottawa 
was 5400 on 9 Nov (MSh), well below the 
highs of the past decade. An above-average 
flight of Stilt Sandpipers saw 147 at Ottawa 23 
Sep (MSh) and 52 at G.L.R. 15 Aug (DP), 
with one noted in West Virginia in Monon- 
galia 27 Sep (K. Aldinger). Ohio Purple Sand- 
pipers appeared 21-27 Nov in Erie (2 birds; 
JP), Lorain OBr). Headlands (B. Kinkead, 
E. Kistler et ah). In Pennsylvania, 12 Buff- 
breasted Sandpipers were scattered across 
Bucks, Berks, Erie, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mont- 
gomery, and Washington 21 Aug-19 Sep. The 
36 reported across Ohio, average for the past 
decade, were led by 13 at Hoover 31 Aug 
(TBa); more than half of these were located 
along the shoreline of L. Erie from Ottawa to 
Conneaut (DV et al., S. Isaaco, CH, m.ob.). 
Long-billed Dowitcher reports in Pennsylva- 
nia included one at Bentleyville, Washington 
30 Sep (R. Gallardy) and 2 at Linesville EH., 
Crawford 26 Sep (DWi, ST). 

About 23 Wilson’s Phalaropes were discov- 
ered across Ohio, including 5 at Winous Pt., 
Ottawa 12 Aug (TB et al), 4 in Trumbull 1 Oct 
(CBa), and one in Darke 14-15 Aug (RSz, 
RA). Singles in Pennsylvania were at S.R.C.E 
13 Aug QB) and New Garden, Chester 22 Aug 
(LL, KP). The bulk of the 60+ Red-necked 
Phalaropes in Ohio were found within the 



Providing a third Pennsylvania record was this Townsend's Warbler that visited 
Cobb's Creek Environmental Education Center in Delaware County 20-21 (here 20 ) 
November 2010. Photograph by Holly Merker. 



A Summer Tanager was a surprise visitor to a feeder in 
Woodcock, Crawford County, Pennsylvania 22-30 (here 24) 
November 2010. Photograph by Scott Kinzey. 

Western Basin marshes; the high count was 
30 at Winous Pt., Ottawa 31 Aug (TB, T. 
Kashmer et al). Another 4 were found as sin- 
gles inland to Hancock (RSs), Hardin (RC), 
Hoover (GSt, CBo), and Mahoning (B. Jones). 
Red-necked Phalaropes in Pennsylvania in- 
cluded birds at Shenango Res., Mercer 22 Aug 
(MV), G.L.R. 27 Aug and 5-6 Sep (KC, DP), 
Pl.S.P 5 Sep (K. Anderson, ST), Chambers L. 
15 Sep (C. Chalfant), Tunkhannock, Wyoming 
19 Sep 0 - Skinner), and Black Swamp, 
Lawrence Sep 26 (DWi, ST, R Grego). Two 
were in Preston, WV 21 Sep (DC). Pive Red 
Phalaropes were at Pl.S.P. 28 Oct (MW), with 
one also there 28 Nov (MS). An early Ohio in- 
dividual in Lorain, Lorain 22 Sep (EB) may 
have been the same bird detected at nearby 
Sandy Ridge, Lorain 28 Sep (CC). Two birds 
were at Conneaut 14 Oct (A. Wood, DSa), 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


75 


EASTERN HIGHLANDS & UPPER OHIO RIVER VALLEY 



This Summer Tanager made a rare fall record for the Cleveland, Ohio area from 23 August through 6 September (here) 2010. 
Photograph by Matt Valendc 


with one remaining through 19 Oct (DG). 
Rare in s. Ohio, one was at Deer Creek Res., 
Pickaway, OH 1 Nov (RR). 

A first-cycle Black-legged Kittiwake at Yel- 
low Creek S.P., Indiana 4 Nov was the first in 
sw. Pennsylvania since 1891 QB); another was 
at Lorain Harhor, Lorain, OH 3 Oct (JP). 
Sabines Gulls in Ohio included singles at 
Avon L., Lorain 12 Sep (JBr, EB) and Lorain 
Harbor, Lorain 3 Oct QP)- P^re for the West- 
ern Basin, one was very late at Metzger Marsh 
W.M.A., Lucas 21-26 Nov (KK, m.ob.). A 
Black-headed Gull at Bristol, Bucks, PA 1 Aug 
was out of place (DF, HM), and early Bona- 
parte’s Gulls included 2 at Beltzville L., Car- 
bon, PA (D. AltiO and one at Biglersville, 
Adams 2 Aug (MW). An ad. Black-headed was 
at Lorain, Lorain 27-30 Nov (JBr, m.ob.). Lit- 
tle Gulls at L. Erie included 5 at Rl.S.P. 10-11 
Oct QM) and 2 at Conneaut on both 11 Oct 
and 6 Nov (S. Sargent. GLy, EB). An ad. was at 
Bayshore, Lucns 29 Nov (KK) and a juv. at Ot- 
tawa 11 Sep (DSa). A Franklin’s Gull was at 
Woods Edge Pond, Lancaster, PA 29 Nov (D. 
Heathcote). A modest Oight of 38 Franklin’s 
through Ohio was led by 29 at Caesar Creek 
28 Oct (LG, B. Powell); late birds were in 
Erie, OH 26 Nov (GLy) and Clermont 21 Nov 
(K. WestendorO. A Laughing Gull on the 
Beaver R., Beaver, PA 26 Aug (MV) made only 
the 3rd county record. Ohio singles were at 
Conneaut 31 Aug-3 Sep and 11 Sep (CH, MV, 
jP) and Pipe Creek W.M.A., Erie 1 Aug (GLy), 
and a 2nd county record appeared in Summit 
9 Oct (G. Bennett). An ad. California Gull 
was at Lake View landfill, Erie, PA 27 Nov 


(MW); another was at Conneaut 29 Oct-1 
Nov (CH, JP, IK, W. Hatch). A very early hrst- 
cycle Iceland Gull at Deer Creek Res., Pick- 
away 1 Nov (RR) was an astounding find for 
s. Ohio. The 28 Lesser Black-backed Gulls for 
Ohio was double the seasonal average. Repre- 
sentative L. Erie counts were 4 ads. at Lorain 
Harbor, Lorain 3 Oct QP). 8 at Huron, Erie 30 
Oct (GLy), and 3 at Bayshore, Lucas 29 Nov 
(KK). Six birds inland included singles in 
Clark 12 Sep (DO et ah), Mahonmg 6 Nov 
(CH), Richland 5 Oct (G. Cowell), Mercer 27 
Sep (T. Bronson), and Hancock 6 Nov (2 
birds; RA, KO). The 43 Caspian Terns at 
G.L.R. 26 Aug (KC) made a new high count 
for the Lehigh Valley area. Five hundred 
Forster’s Terns were at Peach Bottom, Lan- 
caster, PA 15 Sep (BS). An Arctic Tern at 
Maumee Bay S.P, Lucas, OH 11-12 Aug (KK, 
S. Landes) represents a 3rd state record. 

Long-tailed Jaegers are likely annual during their 
peak migration window of 30 Aug-10 Sep along 
the s. shore of L. Erie, but they are detected infrequently. 
Seasoned observers anticipating the right conditions 
found 4 Sep ideal; at Conneaut, an ad. (ph. JT) and an 
imm. (CH) were identified, and singles passed Sunset 
Park, Me, OH (JBr et al.) and Huron Pier, Erie (JS, K. 
Shrader). And more jaegers were to come. Reports of 14- 
16 Pomarine Jaegers 23 Oct-27 Nov (JP, GLy, m.ob.) from 
the Central Basin were led by 6 birds off Rocky R., Cuya- 
hoga, OH 18 Nov, where 2 Parasitic Jaegers were also seen 
that day (JBr et al.). Two more Parasitic Jaegers were not- 
ed off Lakeshore Park, Me, OH 12 Sep (JP). 


HUMMINGBIRDS THROUGH FINCHES 

A female Anna’s Hummingbird was banded at 
Shartlesville, Berks, PA 21 Nov for a first state 
record (R. Gery, ph. SW). First seen in late Oct, 
this hardy bird remained through the fall peri- 
od. An imm. male Allen’s Hummingbird band- 
ed at Liitz, Lancaster, PA 7-12 Nov furnished 
the 2nd state record (E. Bailey, SW, ph.). A Ru- 
fous Hummingbird Swarthmore, Delaware 14- 
20 Oct was also banded (D. Eberly, NP), and 
Rufous/Allen’s Hummingbirds in Pennsylvania 
included singles at Green Lane, Montgomery 21 
Oct (P. Guris) and Lehigh 10-14 Nov (E. Sin- 
kler). The summer Rufous Hummingbird at 
Apple Creek, Wayne, OH remained though 21 
Sep (Cristy Troyer, SS, A. Chartier, m.ob.). Late 
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds included one at 
Devon, Chester, PA through 30 Nov (NP) and 
another at Economy Borough, Beaver, PA 29-30 
Nov (P. & L. Forman, ph. GM). 

Two summering Chuck-will’s-widows at Ft. 
Indiantown Gap, Lebanon, PA were still pres- 
ent 20 Sep OB). An outstanding 2400 Com- 
mon Nighthawks migrated over M.H.W.A. 28 
Aug (RC, AF); 553 tallied over the Ohio Wes- 
leyan campus, Delaware 29 Aug (SWs) made 
the state high count. A record 265 Northern 
Saw-whet Owls were netted on the Kittatinny 
Ridge at Little Gap B.O., Northampton, PA 7 
Oct-22 Nov, including a high of 46 on 2 Nov. 
Fifteen birds captured there were foreign re- 
coveries (RW, T. Kita). Ninety-two were band- 
ed at a new station at Rushton farm, Chester, 
PA 9 Oct-28 Nov (D. McGovern). Away from 
the usual Eranklin location, Eurasian Collared- 
Doves in Pennsylvania included one in Adams 
9 Aug (MW), 2 in Northampton 3 Aug-12 Sep 
(B. Weber), one in Philadelphia 31 Aug (BS), 
and 2 in Lancaster 18-22 Sep (R. Stoner et al). 
The species persists in Celina, Mercer, OH, 
with 3 there 20 Nov (DSr). A male Eurasian 
Collared-Dove was found at a nest paired with 
a female “Ringed Turtle-Dove” near Sugar 
Creek, Holmes, OH into mid-Nov (SS). 

In Pennsylvania, 29 Olive-sided Flycatchers 
in 14 counties 21 Aug-5 Oct included a high 
count of 7 at H.M.S. 30 Aug (LG). A late Empi- 
donax flycatcher at Tuscarora S.P., Schuylkill, PA 
25 Nov+ was identified as a Least 0- DeBalko). 
In Pennsylvania, 10 Northern Shrikes were re- 
ported in 10 counties 2-29 Nov (m.ob.). A late 
White-eyed Vireo was in Lehigh, PA 25 Oct 
(DW). Three Common Ravens ventured to the 
Ohio R. at New Martinsville, Wetzel, WV 29 
Oct (W. Jarrell). As in seasons past, up to 100+ 
Northern Rough-winged Swallows were still at 
the Northeast Water Pollution Control Plant, 
Philadelphia, PA 26 Nov (D. Weber, CR); an- 
other was late in Lorain, OH 27 Nov (GLy), fol- 
lowed by a Barn Swallow there 29 Nov (SS). A 
strong push of Black-capped Chickadees in 



76 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



EASTERN HIGHLANDS & UPPER OHIO RIVER VALLEY 


Table 3. Reports of Cave Swallows in Ohio and Pennsylvania, 

October/November 2010. 

Date(s) 

No. 

Location 

Observer(s) and sources 

270rt 

3 

Lakeshore Park, Lake, OH 

JP 

30-31 Oct 

4 

Conneaut, Tls/itobu/o, OH 

CH,JP,B. Krajeski, D. Nixon 

30 Oct 

4 

Geneva S.P., Ashtabula, OH 

JP 

30Ort 

2 

Lakeshore Park, Lake, OH 

JP 

30 Oct-2 Nov 

3 

Lorain, Lorain, OH 

GLy, C. Pierce, DSa 

31 Oct 

2 

Huntington Res., Cuyahoga, OH 

E. Bruder 

31 Oct 

1 

Philadelphia, PA 

F. Windfeider 

31 Oct 

1 

New Bedford, Coschocton, OH 

iAoiet {The Bobolink) 

4 Nov 

1 

Nockamixon S.P., Bucks, PA 

J. Horn 

12 Nov 

1 

Chambers L., Chester, PA 

LL, KP 

25 Nov 

2 

Ottawa N.W.R., Ottawa, OH 

JP 

2S Nov 

1 

Big Prairie, Holmes, OH 

fide Dennis Kline 


Pennsylvania in early Oct included 700+ at 
Beltzville L., Carbon Oct 11 (DW). In Pennsyl- 
vania, a female Mountain Bluebird was well 
described at M.C.W.M.A. 11 Sep (W. Durling), 
and a male was at Chamber L. 30 Oct (LL). 
Late Wood Thrushes were found in Morgan, 
OH 4 Nov (GCr) and in Cabell, WV 18-27 Nov 
(B. Borda). A Hermit Thrush on Kellys 1., Erie, 
OH 13 Aug (TB et al.) was exceptionally early 
for the Western Basin. The vanguard of a major 
flight of Snow Buntings was detected along the 
L. Erie shoreline, where 50 were at Headlands 
30 Oct (M. Rohr), with one reaching the Dolly 
Sods along the Allegheny Front in Mononga- 
hela N.E, Tucker, WV 2 Nov (Kieran O’ Malley, 
fide D. Mitchell). 

An Orange-crowned Warbler in Randolph 19 
Sep (C. Rucker) was among West Virginia’s 
earliest on record. A late Yellow-throated War- 
bler was at Blue Marsh L., Berks 24 Nov+ Q- 
Silagy); one in Madison, Lake, OH 14 Aug 
(CDi) was the most northerly report. A 
Townsend’s Warbler at Cobb’s Creek Envi- 
ronmental Education Center, Delaware, PA 20- 
21 Nov represented a 3rd state record (T. 
Croasdale, W. Willis, D. Efroymson et al., ph. 
HM). Late warblers included a female Black- 
throated Blue Warbler in Columbus 4 Nov 
(DSr), a Yellow Warbler at Conneaut 6 Nov 
(GLy, EB), a Northern Parula in Adams, PA 30 
Nov (D. Siefken), an American Redstart at 
John Heinz N.W.R., Philadelphia, PA 26 Nov 
(DW, CR), and an Ovenbird along the Magee 
boardwalk, Lucas, OH 28 Nov (MR). A Con- 
necticut Warbler at Blendon Woods, Franklin 5 
Oct (B. & E. McNulty) was rare for cen. Ohio. 

Clay-colored Sparrows in Pennsylvania in- 
cluded singles at Yellow Creek S.P., Indiana 14 
Sep (M. Higbee et al.), at Forty Fort, Luzerne 
16 Sep (K. Ripka), and at Bath, Northampton 
19 Sep (DW). In Ohio, migrants were detected 
in Coshocton 2 Sep (The Bobolink), Shaker 


Heights, Cuyahoga 13 Sep (VF), 
and Hancock 10 Oct (SJ). The 
Stark, OH male that raised two 
broods (apparently hybrids with 
Chipping Sparrow) was last seen 
22 Aug (T. & B. Sponseller). A 
Lark Sparrow was at Pennypack 
Ecological Restoration Trust, 
Montgomery, PA 20 Oct (ph. S. 
Marshall). One was still at the 
Oak Openings Preserve, Lucas, 
OH 16 Oct (JHu), while one in 
Delaware 9 Aug (SWs) was rare 
for cen. Ohio. A Henslow’s Spar- 
row tarried in Cuyahoga, OH 3 
Oct (JBr, IK). A Le Conte’s Spar- 
row documented at Copper 
Beech, Monongalia 1 Oct (ph. 
DC) was an exceptional find for 
West Virginia. One was at Pine Run, Bucks, PA 
10-12 Oct (AM, ph. DF) and 3 at Mallard Club 
Marsh W.M.A., Lucas, OH 21 Oct (MR), with 
one there 7 Nov (BZ). Single Nelson’s Spar- 
rows were at Pine Run, Bucks, PA 2 Oct (DWi, 
ST) and S.R.C.E 3 Oct (BS, E. Witmer). Away 
from L. Erie, 4 were in a Delaware, OH wetland 
22 Sep (TBa), with singles at Springville Marsh 
State Nature Preserve, Seneca, OH 26 Sep (RSs) 
and Spring Valley W.A., Warren, OH 9 Oct (JS), 
Byrd Dam, WV 23-24 Oct (MG, DC), and 
Winheld Locks, Putrrarn, WV 18 Oct (C. Ellis, 
K. Kazmierski et al.). The Golden-crowned 
Sparrow returned to Hancock, OH for a 2nd 
winter on 9 Oct (Ron & Victoria Sakloski). 

Solo Summer Tanagers were at Economy 
Borough, Beaver, PA 20 Sep (K. Delaney, GM), 
Woodcock, Crawford, PA 22-30 Nov (C. Lan- 
dis et al.), and Shaker Lakes Nature Center, 
Cuyahoga, OH 23 Aug-6 Sep (J. West, G. Neu- 
mann, ph. M. Valencic). Two Blue Grosbeaks 
remained at Spring Valley W.M.A., Warren, OH 
9 Oct (JS). Late Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were 
in Peter’s Twp., Washington, PA 12-18 Nov (G. 
Gerben, ph. L. Gerben), in Jefferson, WV 10 
Nov (D. Scheiman), and in Stark, OH 3 Nov 
(2 birds; D. Petko). Dickcissels in Pennsylva- 
nia included singles at Beltzville L., Carbon 6 
Oct (DW), in Williams Twp., Northampton 24- 
29 Oct (A. Koch), and at Ridley Creek S.P., 
Delaware 29 Oct (A. Guarente). An influx into 
the Western Basin brought 3 to Magee 18 Sep 
(P. Smith) and one to Kellys 1., Erie 17 Sep (R 
Hayes). A late Bobolink was found at Mallard 
Club Marsh W.A., Lucas, OH 7 Nov (BZ). A 
Yellow-headed Blackbird at Ottawa 5 Sep (A. 
Bartley) was at a typical location, but one in 
Franklin, WV 22 Sep (D. Holsinger) was much 
farther aheld. Several Brewer’s Blackbirds were 
at Killdeer Plains 26 Nov (EM). 

Single White-winged Crossbills in Pennsyl- 
vania were reported in Chester, Bucks, Erie, 


Lehigh, Cumberland, Centre, and Jurriata 11-28 
Nov (m.ob.); Ohio singles were at North Per- 
ry, Lake 14 Nov QP) and in Richlarrd 12-13 
Nov (The Bobolirrk). A flock of 8 Red Cross- 
bills appeared at Cullen Park, Wood, OH 29 
Oct (G. Links). In Pennsylvania, Evening 
Grosbeaks were found across 13 counties 23 
Oct-27 Nov, including a high of 18 at H.M.S. 
27 Nov (LG). Several were present at Wallace 
David W.A., Hocking, OH 17 Sep (L. An- 
drews). Three Common Redpolls reached Van 
Buren S.P., Harrcock, OH 7 Nov (RSs), and an 
early individual arrived in the s. West Virginia 
mts. at Daniels, Rarrdolph 14-15 Nov (WSn). 

Addendum: A Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 
was photographed at Nottingham County 
Park, Chester, PA 27 jun (R. Bishop, Jide HM). 

Initialed observers (subregional editors in 
boldface): OHIO: Rick Asamoto, Carole Babyak 
(CBa), Emil Bacik, Tom Bain (TBa), Tom 
Bartlett, Charlie Bombaci (CBo), Jenny Brum- 
field QBr), Craig Caldwell, Rick Counts, Glen 
Crippen (GCr), Cole DiFabrio (CDi), Doug &r 
Micki Dunakin (D&MD), Victor Fazio, Larry 
Gara, Dan Gesauldo, Mark Gilsdorf (MGi), 
John Habig QHg), Craig Holt, Joanne Hubinger 
QHu), Scott Jennex, Kenn Kaufman, Laura 
Keene, Irene Krise, Paul Krusling (PKr), Bob & 
Denise Lane (B&DL), Gabe Leidy (GLy), 
Doreene Linzell (DLz), Eric Mulholland, Ken 
Ostermiller (KOs), Doug Overacker, Karl Over- 
man, John Pogacnik, Robert Royse, Mark Roz- 
marynowyez, Robert Sams (RSs), Dan Sanders 
(DSa), Mark Shieldcastle (MSh), Regina 
Schieltz (RSz), John Shrader, Dave Slager 
(DSr), Gene Stauffer (GSt), Su Snyder, Sean 
Williams (SWs), Jerry Talkington, Doug Vogus, 
Ben Warner (BWr). PENNSYLVANIA: Devin 
Bosler, Justin Bosler, Rich Conroy, Kevin Cril- 
ley, Devich Farbotnik, Andy Payer, Ken Fry- 
berger, Laurie Goodrich, Greg Grove, Paul 
Hess, Rudy Keller, Larry Lewis, Geoff Malosh, 
Mark McConaughy (Central Pennsylania Bird- 
line), Holly Merker, August Mirabella, Jerry 
McWilliams, Nick Pulcinella, Kathleen Pileggi, 
Cameron Rutt, Mike Schall, Bob Schutsky, 
Shannon Thompson, Mark Vass, Drew Weber, 
Mike Weible, Scott Weidensaul, Dustin Welch 
(DWe), Dave Wilton (DWi), Rick Wiltraut. 
WEST VIRGINIA: Wendell Argabrite, Derek 
Courtney, Gary Felton, Mike Griffith, Matt Or- 
sie, Wayne Snyder (WSn). 


Victor W. Fazio, III, 18722 Newell Road, Floor 2 
Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122, (bcvireo@sbcglobal.net) 

Rick Wiltraut 

Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center 

835 Jacobsburg Road, Wind Gap, Pennsylvania 18091 

(rwiltraut@state.pa.us) 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


77 


Illinois & Indiana 



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INDIANA 



James D. Hengeveld 
Keith A. McMullen 
Geoffrey A. Williamson 


O verall, it was a hot and dry fall period, 
in August particularly so. Southern 
Illinois, unlike the rest of the Region, 
had a very wet October. An unusually humid, 
warm air mass arrived in the second week of 
August, bringing many days with tempera- 
tures above 30° C and severely slowing the 
shorebird migration. Periodic fronts thereafter 
produced a fine fall flight. Highlights included 
Brant, Anhinga, Swallow-tailed Kite, Ferrugi- 
nous Hawk, Sandwich Tern, Broad-billed and 
Anna’s Hummingbirds, Vermilion Flycatcher, 
and Black-throated Gray Warbler. 

Abbreviations: Bev. Sh. (Beverly Shores, Porter, 
IN); Big L. (Brown, IL); Carlyle (Carlyle L., s. 
Illinois); Clinton L. (DeWitt, IL); Dunes 
(Dunes S.E, Porter, IN); FMNH (Field Museum 
of Natural History, Chicago); FP. (Forest Pre- 
serve); FW.A. (Fish and Wildlife Area); Gillson 
(Gillson Park, Wilmette, IL); Goose Pond 
(Goose Pond FW.A., Greene, IN); Greene Valley 
(Greene Valley EE, DuPage, IL); Hennepin 
(Hennepin-Hopper Lake Restoration Area, 
Putnam, IL); I.B.S.R (Illinois Beach S.E, Lake); 
L&D 13 (Lock & Dam 13 on the Mississippi R. 
in Whiteside, IL); Miller (Miller Beach, Lake, 
IN); L. Monroe (Monroe, IN); Montrose (Mon- 
trose Pt. in Chicago’s Lincoln Park). 

WATERFOWL THROUGH GREBES 

An Indiana Department of Natural Resources 
waterfowl count at Cane Ridge W.M.A., Gib- 
son, reported an Indiana-record 2120 Greater 
White-fronted Geese (LL). Indiana's best ever 
fall flight of Ross’s Goose included at least 9 
seen flying with Snow Geese at Miller 23 Nov 
OJM, PBG, JCK et al.). Though rare, the Brant 
found 25-28 Nov at L. Renwick, Will (DFS, 
ph. BAH, m.ob.) was Illinois’s 3rd in the past 
three years. A record Illinois fall count of 30 


Trumpeter Swans was made 20 Nov at Col- 
ored Sands EE, Winnebago QL)- Another fine 
swan tally was of 366 Tundras at L&D 13 on 
14 Nov (EWW). 

The counts of 1426 Wood Ducks and 621 
Northern Shovelers at Goose Pond 4 & 20 
Oct (LWS), respectively, were impressive. An 
estimated 15,000 Canvasbacks were in Han- 
cock, IL 20 Nov (AGD). Three Harlequin 
Ducks were discovered on Chicago’s n. lake- 
front 3-7 Nov (SGS, ph. KAM, m.ob.); one of 
these was perhaps the Harlequin seen at Mon- 
trose 13 Nov (CAT, TLK). Surf Scoters arrived 
relatively early, with 8 at Miller 2 Oct (KJB, 
JKC, JJM, RJP) and 4 at Montrose (GAW) and 
one at Gillson OIE), both 3 Oct. Eifteen Surfs 
were reported from inland locations. The Re- 
gion was awash in Black Scoters: a very early 
female/imm. was at Miller 30 Sep QCK), and 
72 flew by 29 Oct QKC, JCK, LS, PM et al), 
part of a record fall total of 328 for the Indi- 
ana lakefront; an additional 38 were at Gill- 
son 20 Nov OfE), and 15 were found at in- 
land locations. Long-tailed Ducks away from 
L. Michigan included singles at Clinton L. 6 
Nov (GSL), on Clear L., Steuben, IN 16 Nov 
QAH, SS, MW), and at East Fork L., Richland, 
IL 29 Nov (CLH, RES). Hooded Mergansers 
were recorded in excellent numbers: 400 were 
at Carlyle 20 Nov (DMK), and 550 were tal- 
lied at Cane Ridge W.M.A., Gibson 29 Nov 
(ESp), representing Indiana’s 2nd highest fall 
count ever. More astounding were two of the 
three highest ever counts of Red-breasted 
Merganser in the Region: 5809 at Montrose 
28 Nov (GAW) and 4270 at Gillson 20 Nov 
(JIE, CAT, TLK). Twenty-four Greater Prairie- 
Chickens at Prairie Ridge S.N.A. 4 Oct (RES) 
was the maximum count reported. 

There was another excellent flight of Red- 
throated Loons this fall. Among several dou- 
ble-digit counts along the Indiana lakefront, 
the high was of 19 birds 27 Nov QCK, JKC, 
SRB, RJP et al.). Inland birds included 2 at 
Clinton L. 6 Nov (MEF) and one each at L. 
Monroe 12 Nov (DRW) and L. Lemon, Mon- 
roe, IN 18 Nov (DRW). An early Pacific Loon 
was at Miller 29 Oct QKC, JCK), where one 
was present through 24 Nov JKC, MT, 
JCK et al.); another was at Carlyle 13 Nov 
(DMK, MSS, KAM). Early Common Loons 
were at Miller 14 Aug (KJB, SRB, JKC, LSH) 
and at I.B.S.R 17 Sep QRRS). A notable count 
of 400 Pied-billed Grebes was made at Hen- 
nepin 16 Oct (MJW). An excellent total of 9 
Red-necked Grebes was reported along the L. 
Michigan lakefront; an additional inland bird 
was in Bloomington, IL 25 Nov+ (ph. MJW, 
CAT, TH et al.). Eared Grebes were in El Paso, 
Woodford, IL 27 Sep-12 Oct (TH, m.ob.) and 
in Sangamon, IL 21 Oct (HDB). It was a good 


fall for Western Grebes. Singles were at 
Saganashkee Slough in sw. Cook, IL 27 
Sep-28 Oct (WSS, WJM, m.ob.) and at Gill- 
son 13 Nov (BJS, GAW et al); for the 6th con- 
secutive fall, at least one was seen on the In- 
diana lakefront: one bird noted at the Port of 
Indiana 9 Nov (KJB) was joined by another 28 
Nov (ET), and another was seen off Bev. Sh. 
24 Nov (PBG, BJG, KG). 

CORMORANTS THROUGH CRANES 

Two Neotropic Cormorants first reported in 
the summer lingered through 1 Aug: one at 
Burnham Prairie, Cook, IL (DJS), the other in 
Fulton, IL (DJM). The Anhingas present in 
summer along the Cache R. in Johnson, IL 
continued through 28 Aug (EG, RSR). Amer- 
ican Bitterns lingered into mid-Nov, with one 
at Montrose 14 Nov (GAW, CLW) and 2 at 
Conner L, Monroe 15 Nov (C&PD). The In- 
diana lakefront’s only Snowy Egret report was 
of a very late bird at Miller 27 Oct (PT, MT, 
JCK). The 12 Yellow-crowned Night-Herons 
at Cahokia Mounds, St. Clair, IL 3 Aug (GH) 
were noteworthy. Good numbers of ibis were 
noted in the Region. The 2 juv. White Ibis at 
Cahokia Mounds, St. Clair, IL in the summer 
were seen through 6 Aug (m.ob.); the juv. 
from summer in Monroe, IL lingered until 1 
Sep (C&PD, m.ob.); an astounding 9 were 
observed at the latter site 6-7 Sep (WG, LV); 
and another was at the I.B.S.R hawkwatch 7 
Sep (PWS, SBB et al.). One White-faced Ibis 
was noted in Mason, IL 8-15 Aug (KBR, TW). 
At least 4 Plegadis ibis were seen at Goose 
Pond between 19 Aug and 6 Nov (LWS, BF, 
DW, MB et al.), 3 were at Carlyle 25 Sep (CAT, 
KAM, TLK, DMK et al), and 2 juvs. were at 
Conner L., Monroe, IL 15 Nov (C&PD). 

A Swallow-tailed Kite in McHenry, IL 16 
Aug (ph. RAM) was an exciting find. The fall 
high count for Mississippi Kites came from the 
n. breeding outpost in Rockford, IL, with 5 
there 10 Sep OL)- An ad. in Perry, IN 4 Sep 
(LC) provided a first county record, and 2 out- 
of-range birds were in O’Fallon, St. Clair, IL 11 
Sep (KAM). The I.B.S.E hawkwatch also tallied 
single Mississippi Kites 8 & 21 Sep (SBB et al.). 
The I.B.S.R and Greene Valley hawkwatches 
collectively reported 13 Northern Goshawks 
this season, with 2 at Greene Valley 29 Oct and 
2 at I.B.S.R 30 Oct; an additional five reports 
came from Indiana. Indiana’s 4th largest one- 
day count of Broad-winged Hawks was logged 
20 Sep in Muncie, where 423 migrants were 
noted (BGr). At I.B.S.R, an ad. Swainson’s 
Hawk was seen 28 Oct QKr, JB et al), and per- 
haps that same bird passed Lake Forest, IL at 
1:45 pm QOS) and then Chicago at 2:42 pm 
(SJH). Single Ferruginous Hawks were report- 
ed from Greene Valley 15 Oct (REF et al.) and 


78 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


ILLINOIS & INDIANA 


l.B.S.P. 28 Oct (JKr, JB, PWS et al.). An excel- 
lent season total of 27 Golden Eagles was re- 
ported, with 11 at Greene Valley, 6 at l.B.S.P, 
and 2 at West Beach, Porter, IN 6 Nov (KJB et 
al.). An early Merlin was at L. Lemon, Brown, 
IN 21 Aug (JDH, SEH). 

A Yellow Rail was at Prairie Ridge S.N.A., 
jasper, IL 6 Oct, and 3 were there 21 Oct 
(RES); singles were noted at Springbrook 
Prairie EP, DuPage, IL 11 Oct (ph. AG), at 
Millbrook, Kendall, IL 19 Oct (MAM, APS), 
and in downtown Chicago (found dead) 26 
Sep (BG; *FMNH). A fine total of 14 King 
Rails was reported from the Region, all in In- 
diana. A major movement of Sandhill Cranes 
occurred 23 Nov, exemplified by 26,812 tal- 
lied at Greene Valley (REF, ED et al). The 
count of 19 Common Moorhens at Goose 
Pond 28 Sep (LWS) and a late bird there 23 
Nov (BE) were part of an excellent flight. 

SHOREBIRDS THROUGH JAEGERS 

A molting ad. Black-bellied Plover at Miller 23 
(MT) through 25 Nov QCK) was the latest ad. 
by 20 days for Indiana. A fine flight of Ameri- 
can Golden-Plovers included 170 tallied at 
Goose Pond 17 Oct (AK) and a record-high 
Nov tally of 19 at Goose Pond 3 Nov (LWS). 
Among the 7 Piping Plovers were a late band- 
ed ad. at Michigan City Harbor, LaPorte, IN 18 
Sep OJM) and an injured individual at Carlyle 
11 Sep-17 Oct (DMK, lOS et al). Tallies of 63 
Black-necked Stilts at Emiquon N.W.R. 7 Aug 
(REF, KDF), 42 in Monroe, IL 22 Aug (C&PD), 
and 33 at Goose Pond 1 Sep (DRW et al.) were 
notably high. Among the 39 American Avocets 
recorded in Indiana, 9 were at Heritage L., Put- 
nam 14 Aug (DWs), 6 were at L. Monroe 15 
Aug (MRB et al), and 6 were at Willow 
Slough, Newton 12 Sep QBH). An Indiana- 
record fall count of 95 Greater Yellowlegs was 
logged at Goose Pond 26 Sep (AK, NK), and a 
late inland Willet was found there 5 Sep 
(MRB). Among 6 Whimbrels reported in the 
Region was Illinois’s 2nd latest ever, one that 
passed Montrose 3 Oct (GAW). 

An impressive flock of 43 Hudsonian God- 
wits, the 2nd largest group ever noted in Indi- 
ana, appeared at Miller 21 Aug QKC, EMH et 
al). Among the Region’s 5 Marbled Godwits 
was a late bird at Miller 18 Sep (PBG). The sea- 
son’s Red Knots included one at Emiquon 
N.W.R. 28 Aug (KAM), and 2 each at Big L. and 
Emiquon N.W.R, (REF, KDF), both 29 Aug. A 
Semipalmated Sandpiper in Kane, IL 14 Nov 
(SAC) provided the Region’s 2nd latest record. 
The 150 Least Sandpipers at Goose Pond 9 Nov 
(LWS) represented Indiana’s highest Nov total. 
Fourteen Baird’s Sandpipers at Limberlost 
Swamp, Adams, IN 19 Aug QAH) were espe- 
cially noteworthy for ne. Indiana; an excellent 


count of 26 came from Emiquon N.W.R, 28 
Aug (KAM). The lone Purple Sandpiper was at 
Waukegan, Lake, IL 30-31 Oct (AFS, m.ob.). 
The amazing total of 70 Stilt Sandpipers at 
Goose Pond 12 Sep (LWS, BF) provided Indi- 
ana’s largest count ever. A Ruff was at Big L. 29 
Aug (REF, KDF). A fine flight of Wilson’s Snipe 
was highlighted by 200 at Goose Pond 27 Oct 
(DW) and 108 at Clinton L. 19 Nov (MEF). 
Fine tallies of Red-necked Phalaropes included 
14 at Big L. 29-30 Aug (REF, KDF, DBJ, APS) 
and 12 at Carlyle 13 Sep (KAM). A single Red 
Phalarope visited Bev. Sh. 30 Oct (KJB et al). 

It was a banner fall for Black-legged Kitti- 
wakes. At Miller, a minimum of 8 juvs. were 
present 4 Nov (KJB, PBG, JJM et al), 6 were 
there 5 Nov MT), and an Indiana state- 
record 26 (all juvs.) were tallied 18 Nov QKC, 
JJM, JCK, PBG et al). A juv. Sabine’s Gull 25 
Sep (ER) and an ad. 30 Sep (MC) were found 
at L. Monroe, 2 juvs. were at Miller 17 Sep 
OJM, MT), and a late bird was there 4 Nov 
OKC, JCK, JJM, PBG, KJB). Indiana’s only Lit- 
tle Gull was a second-cycle bird at L. Gage, 
Steuben 16 Nov QAH, SS, MW); a juv. was in 
Sangamon, IL 19-21 Nov (ph. HDB). Only 2 
Laughing Gulls were reported for the season. 
A nice total of 5 California Gulls, all in Illi- 
nois, included a first-cycle in Kane 22 Sep 
(ESS), a second-cycle bird in Sangamon 25 
Sep (HDB), an ad. at Winthrop Harbor, Lake 
25 Sep (AFS, APS, ph. EWW) and 28 Oct (ph. 
GN), a second-cycle bird at Carlyle 11 Oct 
(DMK), and an ad. at Chautauqua N.W.R. 7 
Nov (KBR). The season’s first Iceland Gull 
was at l.B.S.P 27 Nov (EG). Two ad. Lesser 
Black-backed Gulls were on L. Monroe 1 1 Sep 
(DRW et al); another ad. was on Brookville 
L., Franklin, IN 1 & 18 Nov (WHB). 

The 7 Least Terns 13 Oct in White, IL (RES) 
provided a fine fall tally, while a Caspian Tern 
at Carlyle 22 Oct (DMK) was late. A major 
flight of Black Terns 3 Sep included at least 
400 at Miller (MT). Notable were 77 Forster’s 
Terns at Rend L., Jefferson, IL 16 Aug (KAM). 
The tern of the season was the Region’s 2nd 
Sandwich Tern, an ad. in mostly alternate 
plumage, that bounced around the L. Michi- 
gan shoreline in Cook, IL. First noted 11 Sep 
in Evanston (ph. RR), it reappeared at Mon- 
trose 14 Sep (ph. RDH, ph. SBB, m.ob.), at 
several beaches on Chicago’s south side 15 Sep 
(PRC, ph. GN, m.ob.), and finally again at 
Montrose 30 Sep (ph. SBB). A Pomarine Jaeger 
was seen at Carlyle 29 Oct-8 Nov (DMK, RES, 
CLH, KAM), a juv. was at Miller 4 Nov (ph. 
JKC, ph. JCK, JJM, MT, KJB), and 2 juvs. flew 
past Miller 5 Nov QCK, MT). At least 7 Para- 
sitic Jaegers were seen on the Indiana lake- 
front 16 Sep OCK, MT, AB et al), and one was 
at Carlyle 11-29 Sep (ph. DMK, ph. KAM, lOS 



Although not rare on the Lake Michigan lakefront, Sabine's 
Gulls are always a big hit; this handsome juvenile was pho- 
tographed at Miller Beach in Lake County, Indiana 17 Sep- 
tember 2010. Photograph by John C Kendall. 

et al). Long-tailed Jaegers were at Carlyle 2 & 
24 Sep (DMK et al), and a juv. was seen flying 
with Parasitics at Bev. Sh. 11 Sep OJM). 

OWLS THROUGH THRUSHES 

A Barn Owl was at Prairie Ridge S.N.A., Jasper, 
IL 30 Sep (RES), 2 continued through at least 
18 Sep in Iroquois, IL (JideJBx), and one was at 
l.B.S.P. 16 Oct (BJS). Goose Pond’s (and 
Greene’s) first Long-eared Owl was pho- 
tographed 21 Nov (LG, BD). An early North- 
ern Saw-whet Owl was heard at Dunes 5 Oct 
(BB), and an impressive 63 birds were detected 
at the banding station there throughout the 
season (BB). An amazing movement of Com- 
mon Nighthawks occurred 2 Sep in the greater 
Chicago area, highlighted by 16,800 counted 
from a Chicago residence (SJH). A Chuck- 
will’s-widow heard in Peiry 4 Sep (NK) fur- 
nished Indiana’s first Sep record. The Region’s 
2nd Broad-billed Hummingbird was present 
24-25 Aug in DeWitt, IL, where it was captured 
and banded (ph, LI-M, VMK). The Region’s 
first Anna’s Hummingbird was captured, 
banded, and well photographed in Chillicothe, 
Peoria, IL 21 Nov+ (ph. AH, VMK, m.ob.). An 
ad. male Rufous Hummingbird attended a 
feeder in Rensselaer, IN 1-3 Aug (ph. R&BD), 
and another was in Oakland, Coles, IL 28 Oct+ 
QC, ph. GN, ph. EWW, m.ob.). 

A Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at L. Lemon, 
Brown, IN 19 Aug 0DH> SEH) was early. A 
Willow Flycatcher at L. Monroe 2 Oct 0DH> 
SEH, AWB, CEM et al.) was Indiana’s first for 
Oct. An ad. male Vermilion Flycatcher ap- 
peared at the home of Duane and Laura Miller 
in Marshall 21 Nov (fide LS); it was seen and 
photographed there 30 Nov (LS, NM et al.) 
through 2 Dec, providing Indiana’s 3rd 
record. A Western Kingbird flew past Miller 7 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


79 


ILLINOIS & INDIANA 


Aug (PEG), another was found at Salt Creek 
Woods, Cook, IL 8 Aug (DFS), and another 
was in Valparaiso, IN 2 Sep (BJG) through 3 
Sep (PEG, NG, JCK, EE, KJB). An excellent 
flight of Eastern Kingbirds was highlighted by 
63 in Fulton, IL 29 Aug (KAM). Loggerhead 
Shrikes continue to be scarce: 3 were in 
Wayne, IL 18 Nov (RES) and 3 in Daviess, IN 
21 Nov (MJ). The first Northern Shrike of the 
season was at Springbrook Prairie ER, Dii- 
Page, IL 16 Oct (MN). Vireos staged a good 
movement, as evidenced by 20 White-eyed 
Vireos in Union, IL 12 Sep (AD), 19 Bell’s 
Vireos in Warrick, IN 25 Aug QHC), and 10 
Philadelphia Vireos at Ryerson, Lake 14 Sep 
(AS). A White-eyed Vireo in Franklin. IL 14 
Nov (MSS) was tardy, a Philadelphia Vireo in 
Franke Park, Ft. Wayne, IN 17 Aug QBr) was 
early, and a Red-eyed Vireo at Fox Ridge S.P., 
Coles, IL 9 Nov was late (MAM, APS). 

Nice tallies of 23 Fish Crows at Carlyle 8 
Aug (KAM) and 18 at Rend L, s. IL 14 Aug 
(KAM) documented their continued north- 
ward range expansion. A Barn Swallow in 
Sangamon 28 Nov (HDB) was late. A tally of 
60 Sedge Wrens at Goose Pond 13 Aug (LWS) 
was Indiana’s 2nd highest ever. An incredible 
150 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were at Carlyle 
21 Aug (DMK, MSS), and 210 Golden- 
crowned Kinglets were in Evanston, Cook, IL 
26 Sep QW). Indiana’s 2nd earliest Ruby- 
crowned Kinglet ever was at Hammond Sanc- 
tuary, Lake 28 Aug (SRB), and an early Swain- 
son’s Thrush was in Hoosier N.E, Jackson, IN 
24 Aug (DL). An amazing 21,757 American 
Robins were counted going to roost in Palos 
Park, Cook, IL 6 Sep (WJM et al.). A Varied 
Thrush at West Beach, Porter 7 Nov 0<^I-S) 
furnished Indiana’s earliest fall record. A Gray 
Catbird at Springbrook G.C., DuPage, IL 22 
Nov was late for such a northerly locale QAS). 

WARBLERS THROUGH FINCHES 

Notable counts of Golden-winged Warblers 
included 8 at Carlyle 29 Aug (DMK) and 7 in 
La Grange Park, Cook, IL 5 Sep (DFS). A 
Lawrence’s Warbler at Dunes 4 Sep (BB) was 
the first for the Indiana lakefront in nine 
years. A late Tennessee Warbler was found in 
Warrick, IN 16 Nov QK). Indiana’s 2nd earli- 
est Orange-crowned Warbler was well de- 
scribed at Hammond Sanctuary, Lake 27 Aug 
(MT). Single Nashville and Yellow Warblers 
in Kankakee, IL, 9 & 5 Nov, respectively 
QBH), were late. Counts of 80 Chestnut-sided 
Warblers and 60 Magnolia Warblers came 
from Carlyle 11 Sep (DMK). A late female 
Black-throated Blue Warbler was in Carmel, 
Hamilton, IN 11 Nov QWl). The warbler of 
the season was a cooperative Black-throated 
Gray Warbler discovered 18 Sep (PAM) at 


Elsen’s Hill ER, DuPage, IL and subsequently 
seen and photographed by many through 16 
Nov (ph. GN, ph. NL, ph. EWW et al.). A Yel- 
low-throated Warbler that attended an 
Elkhart feeder 27 Nov (fide LS) tied the late 
occurrence date for Indiana. Amazingly, a fe- 
male Prairie Warbler was seen feeding a fledg- 
ling on the e. side of Dunes on the late date of 
27 Aug (Sfl AB). A count of 80 Palm Warblers 
at Tern Bar Slough and L. Gibson, Gibson 13 
Oct (AK, JSC) was the largest fall count ever 
for s. Indiana. In Lake, the 75 Blackpoll War- 
blers at Whiting Park 11 Sep (LS, PM et al.) 
represented Indiana’s highest ever count. An 
imm./female Cerulean Warbler at L. Monroe 
30 Sep (MC) was Indiana’s 2nd latest ever. A 
fine flight of Worm-eating Warblers was high- 
lighted by 2 late birds at Eagle Slough, Van- 
derburgh, IN 30 Sep (TG). A Hooded Warbler 
at Salamonie River S.E, Wabash 8 Oct QAH) 
was particularly late for n. Indiana, but an 
even later bird was at Eagle Creek Park in In- 
dianapolis 17 Oct (DWs, fide LP). 

A Spotted Towhee was a rare find in Mil- 
ford, Iroquois, IL 25-26 Oct (ph. ES). At Tern 
Bar Slough, Gibson, a conservative count of 
200 Field Sparrows 13 Oct (AK, JSC) made a 
new high total for Indiana. A Vesper Sparrow 
lingered through 30 Oct in Edwards, IL (RES), 
and tardy Lark Sparrows were found at 
George L., Lake, IN 15 Nov (CAM) and Hum- 
boldt Park, Cook, IL 16 Nov (ph. SBB). Nel- 
son's Sparrows had a fine flight, with 5 at Lin- 
coln Park, Chicago 18 Sep (GAW) and 7 at 
Springbrook Prairie, DuPage, IL 6 Oct (SF). A 
first-year Harris’s Sparrow was at Dunes 25 
Sep (BJG, JJM, JCK et al.), and an imm. was at 
South Shore Cultural Center, Cook, IL 26 Sep 
(GAW, CLW, GL); 6 other Harris’s were re- 
ported in Illinois. A fine tally of 300 White- 
crowned Sparrows came from Tern Bar 
Slough, Gibson, IN 13 Oct (AK, JSC). At 
Miller Woods, Lake, IN, an early Dark-eyed 
Junco was seen 8 Sep (SF, AB). A late Summer 
Tanager was at Gurnee Woods EE, Lake, IL 1 1 
Nov QSS). An impressive 12 Scarlet Tanagers 
were seen just n. of L. Monroe 5 Sep ("VW). A 
female Rose-breasted Grosbeak visiting a 
feeder in Wairick, IN 1 Nov QUO was late, 
but one at a Goshen, Elkhart, IN feeder 4-18 
Nov was even later (ph. JH, EH). 

Most of the winter finches were almost non- 
existent. Seven Red Crossbills were found: a 
single flyover at Saganashkee Slough, Cook, IL 
14 Nov (SBB) and 6 at Braidwood, Will, IL 20 
Nov QBH). A second-year male White-winged 
Crossbill at Lyons Woods, Lake, IL 6 Nov (ph. 
EWW, JSS et al.) and a female at a feeder in La- 
Grange, IN 14-18 Nov (LS et al.) were the only 
ones reported. A Common Redpoll was detect- 
ed in Chicago’s Jackson Park 27 Nov (RS). Part 


of the fine flight of Pine Siskins, singles ap- 
peared at Rollins Savanna, Lake, IL 19 Sep 
QSS) and at Big L. 22 Sep (KAM); a group of 
118 at Clinton L. 19 Nov (MEF) was the 
largest concentration. 

Contributors cited (subregional editors in 
boldface): Susan R. Bagby, John Baxter QBx), 
H. David Bohlen, Aaron Boone, Matt Bre- 
deweg, Kenneth J. Brock (Indiana), Jerry 
Brown QBr), Michael R. Brown, Joan Bruch- 
man, Alan W. Bruner, Brad Bumgardner, 
Samuel B. Burkhardt, William H. Buskirk, 
Larry Caldwell, Joyce Calloway, Jim H. Camp- 
bell, John K. Cassady, John S. Castrale, 
Michael Clarke, Paul R. Clyne, Scott A. 
Cohrs, Carl 6s: Penelope DauBach, Rosie & 
Bill Davis, Eric Delbecq, Alfred G. Dierkes, 
Billie Dodd, Andrew Durso, Joshua 1. Engel, 
Brad Feaster, Karen D. Fisher, Robert E. Fish- 
er, Sean Fitzgerald, Matthew E. Fraker, Lou 
Gardella, Beth Genet, Wally George, Tim 
Griffith, Brendan J. Grube, Kris Grube, Nila 
Grube, Peter B. Grube, Bill Grummer (BGr), 
Aaron Gyllenhaal, Ethan Gyllenhaal, Elaine 
Harley, John Harley, C. Leroy Harrison, Ted 
Hartzler, James A. Haw, Glen Hawley, Ann 
Hayes, Bruce A. Heimer, James D. Hengeveld, 
Susan E. Hengeveld, Jed B. Hertz, Lynea S. 
Hinchman, Edward M. Hopkins, Steven J. 
Huggins, Robert D. Hughes, Illinois Ornitho- 
logical Society, Lynnette Ishmael-Miller, 
David B. Johnson, Marty Jones, Dan M. Kasse- 
baum, Amy Kearns, Noah Kearns, John C. 
Kendall, Jim Kittinger, Vernon M. Kleen, Jim 
Kriss 0Kr)> Tim L. Kuesel, Gregory S. Lam- 
beth, Nolan Lameka, Lindsey Landowski, 
Dan Leach, Geoffrey Levin, John Longhenry, 
Michael A. Madsen, Walter J. Marcisz, Caro- 
line A. Marsh, Jeffrey J. McCoy, Keith A. Mc- 
Mullen, Neil Miller, Perry Miller, Chuck E. 
Mills, Robert A. Morgan, D. James Mountjoy, 
Pete A. Moxon, Greg Neise, Marcia Nye, 
Randy J. Pals, Larry Peavler, Richard Reming- 
ton, Kevin B. Richmond, Eric Ripma, Rhonda 
S. Rothrock, Sandy Schacht, Beau J. Schaefer, 
Elliot Schunke, Eric S. Seeker, Mark S. Seif- 
fert, Adam Sell, Wesley S. Serafin, Darrell J. 
Shambaugh, Leland Shaum, Robert E. Shelby, 
Randy Shonkweiler, Andrew P Sigler, Jeff A. 
Smith, Jim S. Solum, Evan Speck (ESp), 
Steven G. Spitzer, Lee W. Sterrenburg, Alan F 
Stokie, Douglas F. Stotz (Illinois), Jim & Lin- 
da Strange, Jeffrey O. Sundberg, Paul W. 
Sweet, Craig A. Taylor, Michael Topp, Patty 
Topp, Eric Troske, Lorrie Vit, Eric W. Walters, 
Tony Ward, Donald R. Whitehead, Jason 
Wieckstein, Vern Wilkins, Don Williams 
(DWs), Jerry Williams QWl), Christine L. 
Williamson, Geoffrey A. Williamson, Marisa 
Windell, Matthew J. Winks, Dennis Work- 


80 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


man. Many others submitted observations but 
could not be personally acknowledged; all 
have our thanks for their contributions. O 


James D. Hengeveld, 6354 Southshore Drive 
Unionvilie, Indiana 47468, (jhengeve@indiana.edu) 
Keith A. McMullen, 1405 DeSoto 
O'Failon, Illinois 62269, (warbler7@sbcglobal.net) 


ILLINOIS & INDIANA 


Geoffrey A. Williamson 
4046 North Clark Street, Unit K 
Chicago, Illinois 60613 
(geoffrey.williamson@comcast.net) 


Western Great Lakes 


--5 



T emperatures were generally above nor- 
mal across the Region. Even by fall 
standards, Michigan had an exception- 
al year for rarities, including its fourth Mag- 
nihcent Frigatebird and first record of Anna’s 
Hummingbird. 

Abbreviations: Detroit River (Detroit River 
Hawkwatch, Wayne, MI, including Lake Erie 
Metropark and Pte. Mouillee); Hawk Ridge 
(Hawk Ridge B.O., Duluth, MN); Horicon 
(Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area, Dodge, 
WI); Park Point (Park Point, Duluth, St. 
Louis, MN); Pte. Mouillee (Pointe Mouillee 
State Game Area, Monroe, MI); Shiawassee 
(Shiawassee N.W.R., Saginaw, MI); UMMZ 
(University of Michigan Museum of Zoolo- 
gy, Ann Arbor, MI); U.P. (Upper Peninsula, 
MI); Whitefish Pt. (Whitefish Point B.O., 
Chippewa, MI). 


WATERFOWL THROUGH GREBES 

Ross’s Geese in four Michigan counties includ- 
ed 5 in Chippewa 23-28 Nov (ph. JBo, ph. SB). 
A drake Eurasian Wigeon in Bay 22-27 Oct 
(RD, MHa, ph. RAE, ph. DJ, JV) was the 
Wolverine State’s first since 2007; 13 of Michi- 
gan’s 41 records have occurred in fall. Harle- 
quin Ducks showed well, with at least 10 in 
four Michigan locations, 5 in four Wisconsin 
counties, and 5 in Minnesota; farthest “inland” 
was an imm. male in Hennepin, MN 22 Nov 
(CM, ph. DAG). A total of 1085 Surf Scoters at 
Whitefish Pt. was up dramatically from last 
fall’s 173 and included a peak of 220 on 30 Sep. 
Also above the seasonal average were 3726 
White-winged Scoters at Whitefish Point. Min- 
nesota reported White-wingeds in five inland 
locations, including Morrison's first 6-19 Nov 
(EG, MB, BE). Black Scoters are usually the 
scarcest of the scoters, but they showed up in 
17 Wisconsin counties; peak counts included 
32 at Whitefish Pt. 29 Oct and 26 in Cook, MN 
30 Oct (PJ). Whitefish Pt. tallied 20,104 Long- 
tailed Ducks, with a peak of 3948 on 5 Nov. A 
drake Common Goldeneye x Barrow’s Golden- 
eye hybrid and a Common Goldeneye x Hood- 
ed Merganser hybrid were discovered at Du- 
luth, MN 27 Nov (KJB, PHS). The latter cross 
was also found in Michigan at Mott L., Genesee 
1 Nov OBu) and Iosco 19 & 27 Nov (RD, MHa, 
DB, DD). The Region’s only Barrow’s Golden- 
eye visited Duluth 12-13 Nov (GG, ph. PHS, 
ph. KJB). Whitefish Pt. recorded 9114 Red- 


breasted Mergansers; the high count of 1408 
came on 29 Oct. 

Wisconsin’s only report of Gray Partridge 
was in Iowa 18 Nov (TP). Higher- than-usual 
numbers of Spruce Grouse in Wisconsin in- 
cluded 28 birds in three flocks in Vilas 14 Oct 
(NAn). Several hocks of Sharp-tailed Grouse 
in the U.P. included 24 near Sault Ste. Marie 
18 Nov QBo). Normally a very rare fall mi- 
grant in Minnesota, 2 Red-throated Loons 
were documented at Grand Marais 1 Nov (ph. 
KRE, RPR), and up to 6 transited Duluth. 
Wisconsin had hve reports of Red-throated 
Loons from four se. counties. Slightly below 
the seasonal average were 258 Red-throateds 
at Whitefish Point. Michigan reported single 
Pacific Loons at Whitefish Pt. 9 Oct (SSc) and 
LAnse Bay, Baraga 12 Nov (p.a., SH). Pacific 
Loons were found in seven Minnesota and 
five Wisconsin counties. A total of 2468 Com- 
mon Loons at Whitefish Pt. was about 700 be- 
low the long-term average. A record high to- 
tal of 18,577 Red-necked Grebes at Whitefish 
Pt. included 2219 on 19 Aug. Five Western 
Grebes at Duluth, MN 16 Oct (PEB), plus six 
reports from five Wisconsin counties, made 
for an exceptional season. Michigan reported 
a Clark’sAVestern Grebe in Cheboygan 20-29 
Oct (p.a., ph. JKi) and another in Berrien 25 
Nov (p.a., ph. TBa). In Minnesota, a Clark’s 
Grebe lingered in Douglas most of Aug, but 
one in Big Stone 22 Aug appeared to be a 
Clark’s x Western hybrid (KRE). 



This adult male Magnificent Frigatebird at Tiscornia Park, Berrien County, Michigan 1 9-22 (here 20) September 201 0 was by far the longest-staying frigatebird recorded in the state. There are 
three other confirmed records of the species for Michigan. Photographs by Matt Hysell (left) and Josh Haas. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


81 



WESTERN GREAT LAKES 




The discovery of two juvenile King Rails in August 2010 (here 21 August) at 
Pointe Wlouillee State Game Area, Monroe County, Michigan provided the first 
confirmed breeding evidence in the state since 2005; two adults were present 
here during the summer season. Photograph by Jerry Jourdan. 


This hatch-year female Prairie Falcon 25 August 2010 was 
one of two banded northeast of Duluth, Minnesota in fall 
2010. Photograph by Frat}kJ. Nicoletti. 


FRIGATEBIRD 
THROUGH SHOREBIRDS 

Michigan’s 4th and longest 
staying Magnificent Frigate- 
bird was photographed at Tis- 
cornia Park, Berrien 19-22 Sep 
(p.a., SK, m.ob.). Furnishing 
Michigan’s 12th record and 
found at the same location as 
the frigatebird was a juv. North- 
ern Gannet 28 Nov (p.a., ph. 
TBa). Wisconsin’s only Little 
Blue Heron wandered around 
Horicon 1-22 Aug (TP). Most 
interesting of 2 Little Blues in 
Minnesota was an imm. in 
Stevens 21 Aug (KRE et al.). 
About as far away as possible 
from its usual Minnesota range 
was a juv. Yellow-crowned 
Night-Heron at Warroad, Roseau 31 Aug-3 Sep 
(ph. KRE, ph. LS, ph. BS). Wisconsin reported 
imm. Yellow-crowned Night-Herons in Wirt- 
nebago 13 Aug (ME) and Dane 17 Sep (ph. 
SSu). Providing Michigan’s 6th record was an 
imm. White Ibis at Shiawasee 29 Sep (DJP). 

Despite relatively low numbers of Osprey, 
Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and 
most Biiteo species, Detroit River recorded a 
total of 300,020 diurnal raptors of 16 species, 
including a record high 132,976 Turkey 'Vul- 
tures. Highlights at Hawk Ridge included a 
Mississippi Kite 1 Sep (CR, KJB, ABL). A 
comparatively late Mississippi Kite overflew 
Portage, WI 6 Oct OSc). In Wisconsin, Cedar 
Grove Banding Station counted 43 Merlins 13 
Sep (HM). Now considered casual in Min- 
nesota, an ad. Ferruginous Hawk was pho- 
tographed in Lac Qui Parle 25 Oct (BU). A 
Gyrfalcon was documented in Muskegon, MI 
26 Nov OP ph. DP). Nicoletti trapped Prairie 
Falcons at his banding station ne. of Duluth, 
MN 25 Aug and 12 Sep (FN). Rarely detected 
as fall migrants in Minnesota, Yellow Rails in 
Dakota 2 Oct (MO) and McLeod 10 Oct (DK) 
were both county firsts. The last report of the 
King Rail family at Pte. Mouillee was a juv. 3 


Sep (JoH). Establishing Michigan’s 9th record 
was a juv. Purple Gallinule at Boyne City, 
Charlevoix 3 Oct (ph. SJ). Exceptional num- 
bers of Common Moorhens in Michigan in- 
cluded 32 at Pte. Mouillee 15 Aug (AMB) and 
32 at Shiawasee 2 Sep (DJP). 

A high count of 148 Black-bellied Plovers 
was noteworthy in Delta, MI 22 Aug (SH), 
and one lingered until 16 Nov in Dane, Wl 
(DS). Also noteworthy were 190 American 
Golden-Plovers in Portage, WI 4 Oct (TBr) 
and 147 in Bay, MI 13 Sep QSo, LA). Record 
late due to injury was an ad. Piping Plover in 
Berrien 16 Oct-26 Nov (AV, BA); more timely 
were 6 more in four Michigan locations dur- 
ing the period. Record high for Minnesota 
was the total of 917 Killdeer in Lac Qui Parle 
7 Aug (PCC). In Wisconsin, Black-necked 
Stilts lingered through at least 22 Aug after 
successful nesting in Dodge. Wisconsin had 
only two reports of migrant American Avo- 
cets, both in Aug, but Michigan had more re- 
ports than usual, including 10 in Berrien 14 
Sep (RJ), 8 at Whitefish Pt, 28 Oct, and 4 in 
Bay 19 Nov (MK). Wisconsin had Willets in 
Chippewa 2 Aug (RC) and Kewaunee 21 Sep 
(AS), but Michigan cornered the market, with 
no fewer than 18 individuals in eight loca- 
tions, including one being chased by a Pere- 
grine Falcon at Pte. Mouillee 9 Sep CWW). 
The Hudsonian Godwit tale was similar, with 
only one in Wisconsin in Columbia 14 Oct 
OR), while a total of 45 reached seven Michi- 
gan locations, including a flock of 11 at Shi- 
awasee 21 Oct (DJP) and a late bird in Arenac 
21 Nov (RAE). Michigan welcomed more Red 
Knots than usual, including 6 in Delta 29 Aug 
(SH, MHe, JeH) and 11 at Pte. Mouillee 6 Sep 
(AMB); the only other Regional report was 
one in Racine, WI 21-25 Aug QD). 

Despite peaks of 455 Semipalmated Sand- 
pipers 15 Aug (AMB) and 700 Least Sand- 
pipers 20 Aug (ATC), vigilant birders picked 
out a Western Sandpiper at Pte. Mouillee 26 
Aug-4 Sep (ph. BZ, KWe, STo, SAJ). Wiscon- 
sin had single Western Sandpipers in Mani- 
towoc 17-19 Aug (CS), Ozaukee 12 Sep (ph. 



An uncommon migrant that made news in Michigan during fall 2010 was Red-necked Phalarope. A flock of 43, a record count, appeared at the Muskegon Wastewater System, Muskegon 
County on 8 September 2010 (left). Two in Oakland County 4 September 2010 (right) provided just the second county record. Photographs by Charlie DeWitt (left) arid Darlene Friedman. 


82 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


WESTERN GREAT LAKES 


SCu), and Racine 19-20 Sep (ph. KK). A 
record total of 277 Baird’s Sandpipers in 24 
Michigan counties included high counts of 
112 at Whitefish Pt. 21 Aug and 93 in Delta 
22 Aug (SH). Among Michigan’s 8 Purple 
Sandpipers was an early bird at Pte. Mouillee 
16 Oct (AMB). Somewhat encouraging were 
Buff-breasted Sandpipers in nine Wisconsin, 
12 Minnesota, and 22 Michigan counties, in- 
cluding a high count of 22 in Missaukee, MI 
7 Sep (TRW). Wilson’s Snipe peaked at 164 at 
Shiawasee 29 Oct (DJP). Above-average 
numbers of Red-necked Phalaropes were not- 
ed in both Michigan (90+ birds in 16 coun- 
ties) and Minnesota (417 birds in 23 coun- 
ties), and single Red Phalaropes were seen 
spinning in Muskegon 23 Oct (ph. JL, NG, 
ML), at Whitefish Pt. 2 Nov (SSc), and in 
Milwaukee, W1 during a Madison Audubon 
Society field trip 7-8 Nov. 

GULLS THROUGH HUMMINGBIRDS 

The dramatic influx of Black-legged Kitti- 
wakes into the continent’s n. plains was noted 
in Michigan but not in Minnesota and Wis- 
consin. Michigan reported about 22 kitti- 
wakes in eight counties, with 9 of these, in- 
cluding a peak of 5 on 11 Nov, at Whitefish 
Point. The only other Regional report was one 
in Lac Qui Parle, MN 21-22 Nov (p.a., ph. BU, 
REr). Michigan also had record numbers of 
Sabine’s Gulls, with about 39 individuals in 
eight counties; 30 of these passed Whitefish 
Pt. between 5 Sep and 2 Nov. Multiple 
Sabine’s Gulls were reported off Wisconsin Pt. 
20-26 Sep (TRS, DT et al.), and some flew 
into Minnesota. A juv. Sabine’s briefly cavort- 
ed with Ring-billed Gulls in the Duluth har- 
bor 20 Sep (ph. KRE, m.ob.), an ad. and 2 
juvs. flew along the Minnesota side of the Su- 
perior Entry 20 Sep (ph. KJB), and a flock of 
10 was there 25 Sep (PHS). The only Min- 
nesota report of Sabine’s Gull away from Du- 
luth established a first county record in 




Stevens 12 Sep (p.a., BE, JHo). Michigan gath- 
ered 8 Little Gulls in six counties, but one in 
Crow Wing 19 Sep 0'^®) and one in Mil- 
waukee 26 Oct (SL) were the only ones found 
in Minnesota and Wisconsin, respectively. 
Single Laughing Gulls reached Ozaukee, WI 5 
Aug Ql), Berrien, MI 14-15 Aug (ph. TBa, ph. 
AM), and Whitefish Pt. 23 Sep (SSc). Recall- 
ing its fall 1998 eastward invasion were >100 
Franklin’s Gulls in 15 Michigan counties, 
mostly mid-Nov. Two different ad. California 
Gulls visited both sides of the MinnesotaAVis- 
consin state line at the Superior Entry 12 & 
23 Nov (ph. KJB). Single Californias were also 
reported in Racine, WI 24 Nov (RF) and 
Berrien, MI 27 Nov (p.a., ph. AM). Adult 
Thayer’s Gulls have long been known to ar- 
rive before the first juvs., but the magnitude 
of its migration remains poorly understood. 
Painstaking analysis of images of wing tip 
markings on older birds, and tertial pattern 
and tail markings on younger birds, allowed 
Bardon to distinguish no fewer than 46 differ- 
ent individuals at Duluth, with more to come 
this winter! The first ad. arrived 23 Sep and 
the first juv. 10 Oct (KJB). Iceland Gulls 
reached six Michigan loca- 
tions, but Minnesota and Wis- 
consin each had only one re- 
port in Nov. An ad. Slaty- 
backed Gull visited Ashland, 

WI 24 Nov (ph. RSB). A record 
3060 Common Terns passed 
Whitefish Pt., including 1696 
on 1 Sep. An ad. Pomarine 
Jaeger was identifiably pho- 
tographed at Wisconsin Pt. 16 
Sep (EB); Poms were also re- 
ported in St. Clair, MI 3 Oct 
(p.a., AMB) and Duluth, MN 
12 Oct (p.a., KJB). Sixteen Par- 
asitic Jaegers, plus 55 uniden- 
tified jaegers, were record high 
for Whitefish Point. Single 


This subaduli Long-tailed Jaeger entertained birders at 
Wisconsin Point, Douglas County, Wisconsin 14-22 (here 15) 
October 2010. The bird strayed across the state line into 
Minnesota at least twice during its stay. Photograph by 
PederSvingen. 


This California Gull was one of two adults photographed at the Superior Entry in 
autumn 2010. Both were seen on both sides of the Minnesota/Wisconsin state 
line. This individual on 23 November appeared to show features of the nominate 
subspecies. Photograph by KarIJ. Bardon. 



Two Common Ground-Doves recorded in Michigan in autumn 2010 furnished the fourth and fifth records for the state. The first (left) was at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County 20-23 (here 23) 
October, the next at Tawas Point State Park, Iosco County 30 October through 1 5 (here 1 3) November. Photographs by Tom Pavlik (left) and Don Henise. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


83 


WESTERN GREAT LAKES 




This female Anna's Hummingbird at Grand Marais, Alger County, Michigan, be- 
lieved to be an adult, appeared with a male in early October 2010 and lingered 
well into December (here 1 November), enduring impressively low temperatures 
and snowfall probably only exceeded by the Anna's in Quebec and Newfound- 
land. Photograph by Allen T Chattier. 


Michigan's fifth Ash-throated Flycatcher was present 17-19 (here 18) November 

2010 at Paradise, Chippewa County. Photograph by Robert Epstein. 


Long-tailed Jaegers in Beirien, MI 8 Sep (ph. 
TBa, AV) and at Whitefish Pt. 13 Sep (SSc) 
were surpassed by a stunning ad. at Wiscon- 
sin Pt. 14-22 Oct (ph. EB, m.ob.) that ven- 
tured across the state line to strafe Park Point 
on the 15th (NA) and 17th (AL). 

Michigan’s 10th Ancient Murrelet surfaced 
at Whitefish Pt. 8 Nov (SSc). Michigan’s 2nd 
Band-tailed Pigeon visited Allegan 30 Sep-3 


Oct (p.a., RS). Minnesota’s 4th 
Common Ground-Dove toler- 
ated park visitors and their 
pets in Hennepin 18-20 Oct 
(WMS, m.ob.). The 4th and 
5th records of this species for 
Michigan were documented at 
Whitefish Pt. 20-23 Oct (ph. 
RV, ph. SSc, m.ob.) and Tawas 
Point S.P. 30 Oct-15 Nov 
QML, ph. WB, m.ob.). Sup- 
porting the record-high total of 
389 Northern Saw-whet Owls 
banded at Whitefish Pt. were 
172 banded near Petersburg, 
MI 5 Oct-4 Dec QKo). Stun- 
ningly photographed were 
Michigan’s first Anna’s Hum- 
mingbirds at Grand Marais, 
Alger beginning early Oct 
(SCa, PG, ph. DF, m.ob.); the 
male was last seen 11 Nov and 
the female lingered into the 
winter season. Also well docu- 
mented with photographs was 
the imm. female Rufous Hum- 
mingbird in Lake, MI (p.a., KP, 
MP, m.ob.). 

WOODPECKERS 
THROUGH 
WEAVER FINCHES 

A total of 79 Black-backed 
Woodpeckers migrated past 
Hawk Ridge this fall. Michi- 
gan’s 5 th Ash-throated Flycatcher found Par- 
adise in Chippewa 17-19 Nov (p.a., ph. LC et 
al.) and may have been there since early Nov. 
A record-high fall count of 25 Least Flycatch- 
ers was obtained at Park Point 21 Aug (CR, 
PHS). Easterly were 3 Western Kingbirds in 
Michigan: in Alpena 4 Aug (SFK, EPD), Alger 
19-20 Aug (ph. SCH, JHu, MHu), and Delta 
22 Aug (ph. SH). Remarkably late for Min- 


nesota were White-eyed 'Vireos in Hennepin 3 
Nov (SLC) and Lac Qui Parle 20-21 Nov 
(HHD, ph. BU), and a Philadephia Vireo in 
Hennepin 18 Oct (TT). Conservative estimates 
of 500,000 Blue Jays and 800,000 American 
Crows for the season at Lake Erie Metropark 
included high counts of 50,000+ jays on sev- 
eral days in late Sep and 135,000+ crows 31 
Oct (RPa, GN). Also in Michigan, the previ- 
ously reported Fish Crow in Berrien lingered 
through 27 Nov (AMB). 

An estimated 50,000 Purple Martins roost- 
ed near L. Osakis, Douglas, MN 26 Aug (KA, 
DAC, RBJ). Remarkably late were 2 Tree Swal- 
lows in Milwaukee, "Wl 30 Nov (CPe), and a 
Northern Rough-winged Swallow in Berrien, 
MI 11 Nov (AV). The Milwaukee swallows 
were found by seekers of a Cave Swallow at 
South Metro W.T.P. 21-30 Nov (ph. JEd, 
m.ob.); Wisconsin also had one in Milwaukee 
29 Oct (DG). Michigan had single Cave Swal- 
lows in Berrien 27 Oct (p.a., ph. TBa, ph. 
MHy), Whitefish Pt. 27 Oct (p.a., ph. SSc), 
Pte. Mouillee 29 Oct (STe), and Saginaw 1 
Nov QDS, ph. DRS); the latter was found 
dead and provided the state’s first specimen 
(*UMMZ). Minnesota has no records of this 
species; a sighting in Cook 30 Oct (BR) will be 
evaluated by that state’s records committee. A 
record-high count of 33 Winter Wrens was 
obtained at Hawk Ridge 28 Sep (KJB). Min- 
nesota’s 4th Northern Wheatear foraged at a 
sod farm in Anoka 4 Sep (ph. JC). Michigan’s 
7th Mountain Bluebird visited Pickford, 
Mackinac 17 Nov (ph. SB). Record-high 
counts of 1056 American Pipits 27 Sep and 
12,612 Cedar Waxwings 29 Aug were ob- 
tained at Hawk Ridge (KJB et al.). Dramati- 
cally out of range was a basic-plumaged 
Chestnut-collared Longspur in Alger, Ml 9 
Oct (ZG, SCH). Noteworthy for the North 
Shore was a Smith’s Longspur at Duluth, MN 
25 Sep (ph. MF, m.ob.). 

Minnesota had a record-late Golden- 



This Cave Swallow lingered at South Metro Wastewater Treatment Plant, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 21-30 (here 22) November 2010. Photographs by Jim Edihuber. 


84 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


WESTERN GREAT LAKES 



Michigan's fifth Golden-crowned Sparrow visited the Nature Zoo feeders at Belie Isle in the Detroit River, Wayne County 2-4 (here 3) 
November 201 0. Phetogmph by Jerry Jomdan. 


winged Warbler in Crow Wing 6 Nov (KWo). 
Noteworthy high counts of warblers in Michi- 
gan included 75 Magnolias and 75 Cape Mays 
at Whitefish Pt. 1 Sep, 18 Black-throated Blues 
at Metro Beach Metropark, Macomb 25 Sep 
(ATC), 24 Pines at Pine Barrens, Iosco 6 Sep 
(WWS), and 15 Bay-breasteds and 115 Black- 
polls at Whitefish Pt. 1 Sep. Noteworthy high 
counts of warblers at Hawk Ridge included 25 
Cape Mays 24 Aug and 199 American Red- 
starts 12 Sep. Unusual for Wisconsin were a 
Townsend’s Warbler on a fishing boat about 
16 km offshore in Manitowoc 28 Sep (ph. JF) 
and a Prairie Warbler in Milwaukee 5 Sep 
(JEd). Michigan had a Yellow-breasted Chat in 
Berrien 8 Aug OTW), and Wisconsin had one 
through 20 Aug in Dane QEl). A Spotted 
Towhee in Lyon 9 Oct (ph. KRE) was found at 
the expected time of year in the expected w. 
Minnesota location, but at least 2 Spotted 
Towhees in Michigan were unprecedented 
(all p.a.). The first for Whitefish Pt. 24 Oct-1 
Nov was photographed by many. One in Ot- 
tawa 5-11 Nov (ph. RBr, ph. BQ) was also well 
documented. A male Lark Bunting visited 
Sherburne N.W.R., MN 17 Aug (DM), and a 
female strayed to Taylor, WI 2 Sep (DCh). 
Wisconsin reported Nelson’s Sparrows in Dane 
27 Sep (STh) and Sauk 27 Sep-13 Oct (AH). 
Michigan had a Nelson’s/Sal tmarsh Sparrow in 
Berrien 9 Oct (p.a., MH) and no fewer than 5 
Nelson’s: one found dead in Keweenaw 3 Oct 
(ZG, *UMMZ), one at Shiawasee 12 Oct 
(DJP), and 3 in Berrien 9 Oct (p.a., TBa, ph. 
MH, ph. CPu, ph. STe, AMB). Michigan’s 5th 


Golden-crowned Sparrow was documented 
in Wayne 2-4 Nov (p.a., ph. ATC, m.ob.). Also 
in Michigan, 2 Summer Tanagers in Beirien 
were last seen 8 Aug (BA), and one visited a 
feeder in Marquette 27 Oct-11 Nov (W&AM, 
ph. SH, ZG). 

Wisconsin welcomed a Summer Tanager in 
Outagamie 2 Nov QEn). Six of the 8 Summer 
Tanagers in Minnesota this fall were found in 
Nov. Michigan’s first Painted Bunting speci- 
men was furnished by an ad. male in Berrien 
12-13 Nov (fide PU), found dead 15 Nov 
(*UMMZ). Hawk Ridge recorded 16,595 
Rusty Blackbirds for the season, including 
5100 on 30 Sep. A total of 8984 Purple Finch- 
es passed Hawk Ridge this fall, with counts 
>1000 on three different Oct dates. Minneso- 
ta’s 8th Eurasian Tree Sparrow visited Atwa- 
ter, Kandiyohi 20-28 Nov (ph. RPh, HHD). 

Corrigenda: For fall 2009 in Mason, MI, re- 
place observer TG with Bob Morman for Red 
Phalarope and delete observer DCD for Little 
Gull. 

Cited observers (subregional editors in bold- 
face): Larry Abraham, Brad Anderson, Nick 
Anich (eBird Wisconsin), Kelly Applegate, 
Tim Baerwald (TBa), Steve Baker, Wendy Bak- 
er, KarlJ. Bardon, Dave Bettendorf, Jo & Steve 
Blanich (J&SB), Milt Blomberg, Jason Bojczyk 
(]Bo), Ryan S. Brady, Rick Brigham (RBr), Ter- 
ry Bronson (TBr), Eric Bruhnke, Paul E. Bud- 
de (Minnesota), Jeff Buecking QBu), Adam M. 
Byrne (eBird Michigan), David A. Cahlander, 


Rory Cameron, Steve L. Carlson, 
Sharon Cashin (SCa), Allen T. Charti- 
er (Michigan), Daryl Christensen 
(DCh), Philip C. Chu, Lathe Claflin, 
Joe Conley, Seth Cutright (SCu), Jerry 
DeBoer, Edward P. De Vries (EPD), 
Herb Dingmann, Dan Duso, Ryan 
Dziedzic, Kim R. Eckert, Jim Edlhuber 
OEd), Jesse Ellis QEl), John Engel 
0En), Roger A. Eriksson, Ron Erpeld- 
ing (REr), Marty Evanson, Bruce A. 
Fall (eBird Minnesota), Rick Fare, Dar- 
lene Friedman, Ben Fritchman, John 
Fuka, Michael Furtman, Frank Gosiak, 
Greg Garmer, Zach Gayk, Neil Gilbert, 
Pat Crasser, Dennis Gustafson, Mic 
Hamas (MHa), Josh Haas QoH), Skye 
Haas, Jeremy Halka 0eH)> Max Hen- 
schell (MHe), Scott C. Hickman, John 
Hockema (JHo), Randy Hoffman 
(Wisconsin), Aaron Holschbach, 
Joanie Hubinger OHu), Mark Hub- 
inger (MHu), Matt Hysell (MHy), John 
Idzikowski, Doug Jackson, Robert B. 
Janssen, Scott A. Jennex, Paul John- 
son, Rhoda Johnson, Steven Joyner, 
Steve E Kahl, Keith Kennedy, Doug Kieser, 
Jack Kirby 0^0. Sharon Klemm, Joe Ko- 
raorowski QKo), Mike Kruske, Jonathan Laut- 
enbach, Michael Lautenbach, Janea M. Little, 
Allen Loken, Andrew B. Longtin, Steve 
Lubahn, William & Ann Manierre (W&AM), 
Douglas Mayo, Chet Meyers, Andre Moncrieff, 
Jym Mooney, Helmut Mueller, Gary Nelkie, 
Frank Nicoletti, Mark Ochs, Andy Paulios 
(eBird Wisconsin), David Pavlik, Jeff Pavlik, 
Rob Payne (RPa), Kris Perry, Michael Perry, 
David J. Peters, Chris Petherick (CPe), 
Richard Phillips (RPh), Tom Prestby (eBird 
Wisconsin), Caleb Putnam (CPu), Barbara 
Quinlan, Brian Ratcliff, John Romano, Robert 
P. Russell, Cameron Rutt, Joe Schaufenbuel 
(JSc), Darrell Schiffman, Scott Schuette (SSc), 
Thomas R. Schultz, Wayne W. Shawl, Adam 
Sinkula, Larry Sirvio, Beth Siverhus, Joe 
Soehnel QSo), David R. Sommer, Jeffrey D. 
Sommer, Charles Sontag, Robert Squire, 
William M. Stauffer, Sarah Sundquist (SSu), 
Peder H. Svingen, Scott Terry (STe), Steve 
Thiessen (STh), Sarah Toner (STo), Tom Tusti- 
son, Pat Underwood, Bill Unzen, Jim 
VanAllen, Rick Veldman, Alison Village, Will 
Weber (WW), Kevin Welsh (KWe), Thomas 
R. Wheeker, Kevin Woizeschke (KWo), 
Jonathan T. Wuepper (Michigan), and Brian 
Zwiebel. We offer sincere thanks to the hun- 
dreds of additional contributors who could 
not be cited here individually. © 

Peder H. Svingen, 2602 East 4th Street 
Duiuth, Minnesota 55812, (psvingen@d.umn.edu) 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


85 



Iowa & Missouri 



Walter Wehtje 


F all 2010 continued the warm trend ex- 
perienced during the summer, with the 
fall months recording above-average 
temperatures. The very wet summer pattern 
also continued, with August, September, and 
November recording above-normal precipita- 
tion. However, a very dry October was the hf- 
teenth driest recorded in Iowa and the fourth 
driest in Missouri. Following this dry spell, 
signihcant amounts of precipitation fell in 
mid-November. This included snow in north- 
western Iowa that remained on the ground 
through the end of the season. By contrast, 
the “Bootheel” region of Missouri suffered be- 
low-average rainfall until the end of Novem- 
ber. The season saw multiple records of 
southern species north, and many migrants 
lingered well past their usual departure dates. 
Above-average temperatures allowed many 
waterfowl to remain north of the region until 
late November, while above-average precipi- 
tation caused much of our usual shorebird 
habitat to remain covered by water for much 
of the fall migration. 

Notable records included Anna’s Hum- 
mingbird, Arctic Tern, and Lewis’s Woodpeck- 
er in Iowa. Missouri birders found Long-tailed 
Jaeger, Say’s Phoebe, and Swallow-tailed Kite. 

Abbreviations: A.A.S.R. (Aldrich Arm of 
Stockton Res., Polk. MO); B. K. Leach (B. K. 
Leach C.A., Lincoln, MO); Big Spring (Big 
Spring S.P., Carter, MO); C.S.P. (Confluence 
S.P, St. Charles, MO); Eagle Bluffs (Eagle 
Bluffs C.A., Boone, MO); Four Rivers (Four 
Rivers C.A., Vernon, MO); Hitchcock (Hitch- 
cock W.M.A. Hawkwatch, Pottawattamie, lA); 
Holly Ridge (Holly Ridge C.A., Stoddard, 
MO), M.S.L. (Maryville Sewage Lagoons, 
Nodaway, MO); M.S.W.U. (Missouri State 
Western University, St. Joseph, Buclutnan, 


MO); Otter Slough (Otter Slough C.A., Stod- 
dard, MO); Red Rock (Red Rock Res., Marion, 
lA); R.M.B.S. (Riverlands Migratory Bird 
Sanctuary, St. Charles, MO); Saylorville (Say- 
lorville Res., Polk, lA); Squaw Creek (Squaw 
Creek N.W.R., Holt, MO); Smithville 
(Smithville Res., Clay/Clinton, MO); Swan 
Lake (Swan Lake N.W.R., Chariton, MO); 
Thomas Hill (Thomas Hill Res., Macon, MO); 
T.R.W. (Thompson River Wetlands, Liv- 
ingston, MO). 

WATERFOWL 

In Iowa, a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck was 
in Appanoose 12 Aug (acc., tJT). This species 
was recently removed from the Missouri re- 
view list, with 2 near Fortescue, Holt through 
mid-Aug (ph. JH, m.ob.) and singles in St. 
Joseph, Buchanan 14 Aug (ph. SS) and 10 Oct 
(PMc) providing support for that decision. 
The hrst migrant Cackling Geese in Iowa 
were noted 4 Oct when 710 appeared in Ma- 
son City, Cerro Gordo (PH). Much farther 
south, 94 Greater White-fronted and 18 Snow 
Geese passed Holly Ridge 17 Oct (CB). 
Hawkwatchers at Hitchcock counted beyond 
the call of duty when they estimated 600,000 
Snow Geese passing their tower 21 Nov 


(MO), a huge single-day total by any meas- 
ure. Some of these birds must have stopped at 
Squaw Creek, where 100,000 were present 27 
Nov (MS). A single Blue-winged Teal at 
M.S.L. 26 Nov (DAE) was very late for nw. 
Missouri. Some 330,055 Canvasbacks were 
tallied at Pool #9, Allamakee 1 Nov, accom- 
panied by 39,700 Greater/Lesser Scaup 


(U.S.FW.S.). An ad. male Harlequin Duck 
was at M.S.L. 24 Nov-i- (p.a., tDAE), the 8th 
record for the state. Close to average, 12 Surf 
Scoters and 7 White-winged Scoters were 
found in Iowa, but 24 Black Scoters was three 
times the 10-year seasonal average. Missouri 
numbers were lower: 2 White-wingeds were 
at Thomas Hill (PK) and 2 at Smithville (SK), 
both 23 Nov; one Surf Scoter was at M.S.L. 24 
Nov (DAE); and 8 Black Scoters were at 
Smithville 3 Nov (KM). Iowa tallied 7 Long- 
tailed Ducks, including 5 at Saylorville 20 
Nov OB, AB, JG, SJD). A Midwest record of 
9660 Buffleheads was counted at Pool #9, Al- 
lamakee 1 Nov (U.S.FW.S.). Two Red-breasted 
Mergansers at Smithville 28 Nov (KM) were 
unusually late. 

GROUSE THROUGH RAPTORS 

Iowa Department of Natural Resources road- 
side surveys in Aug showed Iowa’s Gray Par- 
tridge population remaining low but steady. 
The surveys documented a 70% decline in 
Northern Bobwhite numbers compared to 
2009 levels, while Ring-necked Pheasants 
numbers have plummeted following four 
winters with extremely high snow levels. In 
Iowa, migrant Common Loons were not not- 


ed in numbers until the last week of Oct at 
Saylorville QB) and at Clear L., Cerro Gordo 
(PH). The peak number in Missouri was 29 at 
Smithville 23 Oct (KM), a week earlier than 
average, and the birds lingered there, with 3 
still present 26 Nov (KM). During late Oct 
through Nov, cen. and w. Iowa harbored 3 
Red-throated QB, SJD, JG, AB) and 5 Pacific 



First spotted at Smithville Lake, Clay County on 16 September 2010, this juvenile Long-tailed Jaeger made Missouri's fourth 
record. It stayed through 22 (here 20) September, allowing birders to observe it at close range from a pontoon boat on two 
occasions. Photograph by Kristi Mayo. 


86 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



IOWA & MISSOURI 


Loons (PH, SJD, KD, JG), but there were none 
in the east, and neither species was reported 
from Missouri. A Pied-billed Grebe at the Carl 
Junction Lagoons, Jasper 25 Aug (LH) was 
considered early; the high count of 40 came 
from Eagle Bluffs 7 Nov (EW). The high 
Horned Grebe count was 35 at Fellows L., 
Greene 31 Oct (DL, m.ob.). Nearly equal 
numbers were in Iowa, with 32 at Saylorville 
31 Oct (BE). Seven Eared Grebes were found 
at four locations in Iowa (SJD, ET, AB), and 
one at Smithville 15 Sep (KM) was the only 
one reported from Missouri. All 3 Red-necked 
(SJD, ET) and 4 Western Grebes (AB, RLC, 
AMJ) in Iowa were singles. 

The Region’s high count of American White 
Pelican was of 7725 at Red Rock 21 Sep (SJD), 
v/hile 3700 migrated past Hitchcock 24 Sep 
(MO). A wayward Brown Pelican at Four 
Rivers 2-28 Aug (acc., DW, m.ob.) made only 
the 10th record for the state. Continuing their 
spread northward, 4 Neotropic Cormorants 
were found this season, including 3 in Iowa: a 
continuing bird at Rapp Park, Page in Aug 
(KD), one at Waubonsie Access, Fremont 1-8 
Aug (tKD), and one at Cedar L., Linn 11-18 
Sep (ph. JF, tWS, tCRE). The sole Missouri 
bird was at Blue Springs L., Jackson 12 Aug 
(acc.; ph. SL). Visitors to Squaw Creek 27 Nov 
were treated to a record-late Least Bittern feed- 
ing out in an open ditch (LL). Early in the fall, 
herons and egrets congregate at favored feed- 
ing sites. Four Rivers hosted at least 300 Great 
Egrets 27 Aug (KM), while on 21 Sep, 468 
Great Egrets were counted between two Iowa 
locations, Red Rock and Maskunky Marsh, 
Mahaska QJD, SJD). Among the 5 Snowy 
Egrets in Iowa this fall was the state’s 2nd lat- 
est ever, a bird at Waubonsie, Fremont 21 Oct 
(ph. KD). Other Iowa records included a 
record-late Little Blue Heron at Rapp Park, 
Page 11 Oct (ph. KD), as many as 220 Cattle 
Egrets at Bartlett L, Fremont 7 Aug-12 Sep 
(JG, KD, PS), and a single Glossy Ibis at 
Sycamore Bottoms, Johnson 21 Oct (tJF). 
Three unprecedented Nov Plegadis sightings 
included single White-faced Ibis at T.R.W. 8 
Nov (MC, SK, DK), Pool #9, Allamakee 12 Nov 
(ph. CW), and Hitchcock Nature Center, Pot- 
tawattamie 20 Nov (MO). Two Roseate Spoon- 
bills near Orrick, Ray 28 Aug (acc., tPK) rep- 
resented the lOtli record for Missouri; half of 
these records have come since 2007. 

Farther n. than expected were Black Vul- 
tures at A.A.S.R. 22 Aug (one; CBu, GS), at 
Lake Ozark S.P., Miller 25 Sep (2; EW), and 
Ha Ha Tonka S.P., Camden 6 Oct (2; ph. SD). 
Most Ospreys have left the Region by early 
Oct, but a single lingered at Smithville until 
27 Nov (KM). One lucky birder observed a 
Swallow-tailed Kite hawking for insects over 



Parasitic Jaeger is considered accidental in Ima, so thisju- 
renile at Lake Manawa, Pottawattamie County on 17 (here 
1 8) September 201 0 was an exciting find. Another was seen 
shortly thereafter in Marlon County at Red Rock Reservoir 
19-26 September. Photograph by Aaron Brees, 

Eight Mile Cr., Cass 17 Aug (acc.; tGW), the 
9th modern record for Missouri. An early 
Northern Harrier was at Otter Slough 12 Sep 
(CB). The record 1126 Bald Eagles counted at 
Hitchcock this fall (MO) is a testament to the 
recovery of this species, and the count of 693 
Swainson’s Hawks there was the highest since 
2006 (MO); only one Swainson’s was report- 
ed elsewhere in the state. Broad-winged 
Hawks were widespread across Iowa, with 
579 at Hitchcock (MO) in the west, 494 at the 
Grammer Grove Hawkwatch, Marshall (MP) 
in cen. Iowa, and 1059 elsewhere across the 
state. A single Ferruginous Hawk flew past 
Hitchcock 21 Nov (TMO). Earlier than ex- 
pected, the season’s first Rough-legged Hawk 
was at Bilby Ranch C.A., Nodaway 1 Oct 
(TMc). Of the 28 Golden Eagles reported 
from Iowa, 25 were in the w. tier of counties. 
In Missouri, the only one reported was near 
Palmetto, Greene 5 Nov (BB). Three Prairie 
Falcons were reported, all from Pottawat- 
tamie, and all in Nov. 

lAILS THROUGH TERNS 

A road-killed Yellow Rail at Columbia Bot- 
toms C.A., St. Charles 21 Oct (ph. BRu) was 
the only one reported this fall. More encour- 
agingly, 2 King Rails were heard at Swan Lake 
10 Aug (SK), and a late bird was at B. K. 
Leach 2 Oct (RD, MT). In n. Iowa, a Sora was 
flushed from an icy marsh in Emmet on the 
record-late date of 27 Nov (BM, fide RG). A 
family group of Common Moorhens was 
found at Otter Creek Marsh, Tama 29 Aug 
OF). For the 2nd year in a row, a pair of Sand- 


hill Cranes summered at Eagle Bluffs (m.ob.). 
In Iowa, 16 birds at Otter Creek Marsh 9 Sep 
(DP) likely bred there or nearby. A cold front 
that brought record-strong winds to much of 
the upper Midwest may have been responsi- 
ble for the flight of 600 Sandhill Cranes 27 
Oct at Hitchcock (MO). It also pushed 8 
Whooping Cranes into Bates, MO 26 Oct 
(p.a., tSM). These birds were observed in 
flight struggling against the wind and later on 
the ground. Prior to this record, only 5 
Whooping Cranes had been seen in Missouri 
since 1913. 

A single Semipalmated Plover near C.S.E 10 
Oct (BR) was a late migrant, while a color- 
banded Piping Plover at A.A.S.R. 5 Aug (CBu, 
MD, GS) was from the Great Lakes population 
rather than the more expected Northern Great 
Plains population. A very young Killdeer 
chick at Dexter Lake C.A., Stoddard 2 Nov 
(ph. CB) was an unexpectedly late breeding 
record. Three Black-necked Stilt chicks near 
Bob Brown 6 Aug (ph. MR) marked the first 
evidence of nesting in Missouri away from the 
lower Mississippi River. A group of 14 Ameri- 
can Avocets at A.A.S.R. 5 Aug (CBu, MD, GS) 
was unexpectedly early. Two Greater Yel- 
lowlegs at Otter Slough 26 Nov (CB) were late 
migrants, as was an unprecedentedly late Soli- 
tary Sandpiper at C.S.P. 11 Nov (p.a., tGC). 
Two Marbled Godwits at A.A.S.R. 5 Aug (CBu, 
MD, GS) were the only ones reported this fall. 
Unusual sightings in Iowa included a single 
Hudsonian Godwit at Red Rock 22 Oct (SJD), 
a Red Knot at Hawkeye W.A., Johnson 31 Aug 
(]F), and a Western Sandpiper at Runnells 
Overlook, Warren 25 Sep (JG). Two Baird’s 
Sandpipers at Four Rivers 27 Aug (KM) were 
early, as was a single Dunlin at R.M.B.S. 4 Sep 
(BR). A Semipalmated Sandpiper at Ada Hay- 
den Park, Story 10 Nov (WO) and a Pectoral 
Sandpiper 27 Nov in Marion (SJD) were both 
3rd latest on record for Iowa. Single Red 
Phalaropes were in Jasper, lA 15 Oct (ad.; ph. 
JF, tCRE, tCC) and at Saylorville 5 Oct (juv.; 
SJD). A Red-necked Phalarope at Hawkeye 
W.A., Johnson 14 Oct (]F) was the 2nd latest 
on record for Iowa. In Missouri, late migrants 
included 14 Long-billed Dowitchers at Otter 
Slough 25 Nov (CB), 38 Wilson’s Snipe there 
the following day (CB), and a single American 
Woodcock flushed s. of Columbia, Boone 30 
Nov (BJ). 

Two Black-legged Kittiwakes were below 
the Red Rock Dam, Marion: a juv. was seen 17 
Nov (acc., tCG), and an ad. was noted 23-28 
Nov (acc., tJF, JG). Five juv. Sabine’s Gulls 
were reported in the Region between 6 Sep 
and 7 Oct (SJD, JG, KM, JWR, m.ob.), 4 in 
Iowa and one in Missouri. Twenty Bonaparte’s 
Gulls were early at Smithville 23 Oct, and 150 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


87 


IOWA & MISSOURI 



Arctic Tern had only been recorded in Iowa once before autumn 2010. This juvenile at 
Lake McBride, Johnson County 20-29 (here 23) November 2010 provided a fine opportu- 
nity to see this mostly pelagic species in a landlocked state. Photograph by Mark Brown. 


were there 29 Oct (KM). For the first time in 
14 years, a Black-headed Gull did not appear 
this fall at Spirit L., Dickinson. An ad. Laugh- 
ing Gull was at Red Rock 6 Sep (acc., tSJD), 
and a juv. was there 10-25 Sep (acc., tJF, 
tJWR, TAB). The Franklins Gull peak at Rath- 
bun L., Appanoose was estimated at 28,000 on 
16 Oct (RLC). The Smithville peak of 5000 on 
23 Oct (KM) was only half of the 2009 esti- 
mate there. A single ad. Mew Gull was discov- 
ered at Red Rock 16 Nov (acc., tJF), and a 
California Gull was at Saylorville 30 Nov 
(acc., tSJD, tAB, tCG). The earliest Missouri 
Herring Gull was at Smithville 25 Sep (KM). 
Twenty-one Least Terns were counted 7 Aug 
QB) at a Pottawattamie site where they are 
known to breed. Only one was seen away from 
this site, 16 Aug at Hendrickson Marsh, Stoiy 
(CG). A Caspian Tern at C.S.P. 17 Oct (BR) 
was on the late side, while 280 at Saylorville 1 
Sep (CG, DA, JB) was the most in Iowa since 
2002. A juv. Arctic Tern at L. Macbride, John- 
son 20-29 Nov was Iowa's 2nd record ever 
(acc., tJF et al.). In Iowa, single Parasitic 
Jaegers were at L. Manawa, Pottawattamie 17 
Sep (TL&BP, ph. AB) and at Red Rock 19-26 
Sep (tSJD, tJJD). A juv. Long-tailed Jaeger at 
Smithville 16-22 Sep (acc.; ph. KM, m.ob.) 
made the first record for Missouri since 1974 
and only the 4th record ever. 


DOVES THROUGH 
WAXWINGS 

After Iowa’s first White- 
winged Dove nest was dis- 
covered in Page during the 
summer, a family group of 
5 was seen there 19 Sep 
(KD). Eurasian Collared- 
Doves are now present in 
most Missouri communi- 
ties. Barn Owls successful- 
ly nested in Crawford 
(SJD) and Wapello (BrEh). 
The Northern Saw-whet 
Owl banding project at 
Hitchcock had its first 
capture 8 Oct QT) and fin- 
ished the six-week season 
with a total of 55 captures. 
In Missouri, 9 were cap- 
tured 13 Nov in Benton 
(DR, ED). The high count 
for Common Nighthawks 
was 200-v at Maryville, 
Nodaway 1 Sep (KG), and 
the latest sighting was 7 
Oct at Holly Ridge (CB). 
More than 1000 Chimney 
Swifts were at the Clark 
School roost in Webster 
Groves, St. Louis 16 Sep 
(PL), while 1500 were at the North Middle 
School roost in Joplin, Jasper 28 Sep (LH). 
The latest Ruby- throated Hummingbird re- 
port came from Christian, MO 11 Oct (MOw). 
Iowa’s first record of Anna’s Hummingbird 
came from Saylor Township, Polk 31 Oct-25 
Nov (ph. AB et al.). Five Rufous Humming- 
birds were reported around the Region: an ad. 
male at Shell Knob, Barry, MO 5 Aug (NR); 
one at a farmstead in Madison, I A 19-21 Aug 
(ph. AB); one at a farmstead in Decatur, lA 
27-28 Aug (ph. MTo); a male in Blue Springs, 
Jackson, MO for two weeks beginning in ear- 
ly Sep (RS); and one in Joplin, Jasper, MO 25 
Nov+ (LH). A Rufous/Allen’s Hummingbird 
was in Warrensburg, Johnson 9 Nov+ (LO). In 
stark contrast to last fall. Red-headed Wood- 
pecker passage at Hitchcock was light, with 
31 on 5 Sep representing the lowest peak in 
the nine-year history of the hawkwatch. How- 
ever, a Lewis’s Woodpecker there 10 Oct 
(TMO, tSR, tVM) provided a 4th state record. 
In contrast to the lack of Iowa sightings, one 
observer in Missouri noted that Red-headed 
Woodpeckers were numerous where acorn 
mast was available (MR). 

Two Eastern Wood-Pewees at Big Spring 
17 Oct (MR) were very late migrants. Four 
Alder Flycatchers identified by voice at Bob 
Brown 6 Aug (MR) were clearly southbound 


migrants. A Willow Flycatcher in Polk, lA 
was record late by one day 26 Sep (ph. CG). 
An Eastern Phoebe in Linn, lA tied the 
record-late date of 19 Nov (WS), and a 
tardier bird was at Lime Kiln Access, Newton, 
MO 29 Nov (EW). Much more unexpected 
was the Say’s Phoebe at the Lake of the 
Ozarks Airport, Camden 24 Sep (acc.; SK, 
m.ob.), just the 8th record for the state and 
the first since 2004. Forty Eastern Kingbirds 
at T.R.W. 4 Sep (SK) and 80 Scissor- tailed 
Flycatchers at Missouri State Southern Uni- 
versity, Jasper 20 Sep (LH) were migrants; a 
Scissor-tailed was still at the University 3 
Nov (LH). 

Loggerhead Shrike reports were sparse, 
with a total of four Missouri sightings from 
Venion, Pettis, and Barton (LH, EW). Only 
one Northern Shrike was reported from Mis- 
souri, along the Grand R. bottoms w. of Chill- 
icothe, Livingston 31 Oct (SK). The 14 singing 
Bell’s Vireos at Bob Brown 6 Aug were in pre- 
ferred breeding habitat (MR). A White-eyed 
"Vireo found 2 Oct at Ledges S.P, Boone, lA 
(ph. CG) matched the state’s latest date, and a 
Yellow-throated Vireo at Twin Lakes Park, 
Boone, MO 11 Oct (EW) was very late as well. 
Farther sw., a Blue-headed "Vireo in Webster 13 
Nov (AK) was among the latest Missouri 
records for this species. 

In Missouri, Fish Crows are most com- 
mon along the major river corridors. Nine 
along the Current R. just above Van Buren, 
Carter 16 Oct (MR) were unexpected. Some 
1465 Blue Jays were counted in one hour at 
Riverview Cemetery, Kossuth, lA 21 Sep 
(MCK). The annual swallow spectacle at 
Locust Creek bottoms, Chariton, MO con- 
tinued this year, with hundreds of thou- 
sands of Tree Swallows roosting there from 
late Sep until mid-Oct (SK, m.ob.). Five 
Purple Martins at Pershing S.P, Linn 28 Sep 
were quite late (EW). The last Tree Swallow 
reported was one at Big Creek, Polk 24 Nov 
(SJD), the 4th latest on record for Iowa. 
Also extremely late was a Northern Rough- 
winged Swallow at Brushy Creek, Webster 
24 Nov-r (SJD). 

Two Veeries were banded at Grand Pass 
C.A., Saline 23 Aug (DR), a new early record 
for Missouri. Two Hermit Thrushes on 18 
Sep, one in Marshall (MP), the other in 
Franklin (RG), were 3rd earliest for Iowa. 
Very unusual was a Wood Thrush at Wildcat 
Glades Audubon Center, Jasper 11 Nov (p.a., 
tJC). A male Varied Thrush visited a bird- 
bath in Springfield, Greene 10 Nov (p.a., tBB, 
RB), the 15th record for Missouri and only 
the 3rd in fall. Rosecrans Airport near St. 
loseph, Buchanan hosted 4 Sprague’s Pipits 
27 Oct (MR). 


88 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


IOWA & MISSOURI 


LONGSPURS THROUGH FINCHES 

At Rosecrans Airport near St. Joseph, 
Buchanan, 3 Chestnut-collared and 9 Smith’s 
Longspurs were seen with the Sprague’s Pipits 
27 Oct (MR). In Iowa, 43 Smith’s Longspurs 
were in rural Cerro Gordo 30 Oct (PH, RG) 
and 50 in rural Pocahontas the next day 
(MCK, SJD). Two Snow Buntings were a bit 
early at C.S.P 6 Nov (DB, ph. AS, m.ob.). 

A Blue-winged Warbler in Fayette 25 Sep 
(MP) was the 2nd latest on record for Iowa. 
Four Golden-winged Warblers at Duck Creek 
C.A., Stoddard 19 Sep (CB) made a good 
number for this declining species. An Or- 
ange-crowned Warbler at R.M.B.S. 21 Nov 
(SD) was the last one observed in e. Missouri 
this season and late for that area. The Region’s 
latest Nashville Warbler record came from 
Jackson, Cape Girardeau, MO 3 Nov (MH). 
Seven Northern Parulas at Otter Slough 6 Oct 
were late migrants, as were single Yellow and 
Cape May Warblers there 2 Oct (ph. CB). A 
male Black-throated Blue Warbler at Knob 
Noster S.P., Johnson 19 Sep (LO) was much 
farther w. than most Missouri records; in 
Iowa, only 5 were reported. Five Black- 
throated Green Warblers at Big Spring 17 Oct 
(MR) were late. A single Palm Warbler at 

R. M.B.S. 21 Nov (SD) was also tardy. Other 
late migrants included a Prothonotary War- 
bler banded in West St. Louis, St. Louis 12 Sep 
(PL et al.) and a Northern Waterthrush at 
Perry C.A., Johnson 9 Oct (EW). A Louisiana 
Waterthrush at Otter Slough 12 Sep (CB) 
may mark a new late record for Missouri, 
while a Kentucky Warbler in Linn 22 Sep 
(BT) was the 2nd latest on record for Iowa. 
Beating the previous late record by three 
weeks, a Mourning Warbler was at Ledges 

S. P., Boone, lA 26 Oct (ph. CG). 

The banding station at Missouri State Western 
University in St. Joseph, Buchanan had an interest- 
ing mix of highs and lows this fall. Two Yellow-bellied Fly- 
catchers were notable, but a single Red-eyed Vireo was a 
surprisingly low count for this normally common fall mi- 
grant. New record highs included 8 Brown Creepers, 13 
Winter Wrens, 45 Yellow-rumped Warblers, and 49 Dark- 
eyed Juntos. White-throated Sparrows were the most 
common capture (103); by contrast, 74 Nashville Warblers 
made the lowest tally since 2004, and no Harris's or 
White-crowned Sparrows were captured at all (JH). 

A little later than expected, the hrst Amer- 
ican Tree Sparrow reported was from Pershing 
S.P 2 Nov (SK). A record-early Clay-colored 
Sparrow was at Green Hills G.C., Chillicothe, 
Livingston 4 Sep (SK). In Iowa, a few Le Con- 
te’s Sparrows arrived on the 3rd earliest date 
of 11 Sep in Polk (DT) and Boone (CG). Nel- 


son’s Sparrows were widespread in Iowa, re- 
ported from twelve counties. The Region’s lat- 
est was one at Green Hills G.C. 29 Oct (SK). 
A Summer Tanager at a Spirit L., Dickinson 
feeder on the record-late date of 14 Nov (ph. 
R & J. Vander Linden, Jide LAS) became the 
2nd latest when another appeared at a feeder 
in Cherokee, Cherokee 14-23 Nov (ph. DBi). 
Both were bested by a Scarlet Tanager at a 
Cedar Rapids, Linn feeder 26 Nov-i- (CT, fide 
BrEh). A Blue Grosbeak in Fremont, lA 21 Sep 
(DA) was the 3rd latest on record for the 
state; one at Eagle Bluffs 9 Oct (RD) was very 
late. A Lazuli Bunting tarried at Marshall 
C.A., Platte 4 Oct (CB), and the last Dickcis- 
sel of the season was on Richland Rd., Boone, 
MO 19 Oct (EW). A flock of 200+ Bobolinks 
in Linn, MO 19 Aug (SK) was somewhat ear- 
ly, whereas 45 at C.S.P. 10 Oct (BR) were 
rather late. A flock of 500 Great-tailed Grack- 
les frequented Mud L., Buchanan during 
much of Oct (MR). Pine Siskin numbers 
seemed up in Missouri, with multiple reports 
throughout the state from mid-Oct onward. 

Contributors (subregional editor in boldface): 
Danny Akers, Bob Ball, Ruby Ball, Chris Bar- 
riger, David Becher, Dick Bierman (DBi), John 
Bissell, Aaron Brees, Charley Burwick (CBu), 
Myrna Carlt,Jeff Cantrell, Chris Caster, Grant 
Connettee, Ray L. Cummins, Marvin Dejong, 
Stephen Dilks, James J. Dinsmore, Stephen J. 
Dinsmore, Ryan Douglas, Ethan Duke, Keith 
Dyche, David A. Easterla, Chris R. Edwards, 
Bruce Ehresman (BrEh), Bery Engebretsen, 
Jim Eorde, Rita Goranson Jay Gilliam, Kirby 
Goslee, Cory Gregory, Mark Haas, Jill Hayes, 
Lawrence Herbert, Paul Hertzel (Iowa), Jack 
Hilsabeck, Brad Jacobs, Ann M. Johnson, Matt 
C. Kenne, Dianne Kinder, Steve Kinder, An- 
drew Kinslow, Peter Kondrashov, Larry Lade, 
Scott Laurent, Dan Liles, Pat Lueders, Bruce 
Marzinski, Kristi Mayo, Paul McKenzie 
(PMc), Terry McNeely (TMc), Veronica 
Mecko, Stuart Miller, Mary Nemececk, Wolf- 
gang Oesterreich, Larry Olpin, Mark Orsag, 
Marilyn Owens (MOw), Loren & Babs 
Padelford, Diana Pesek, Mark Proescholdt, 
Sandy Reinken, Dana Ripper, Mark Robbins, 
Nancy Rochovansky, Bill Rowe, Bill Rudden 
(BRu), John W. Rutenbeck, William Scheible, 
Lee A. Schoenewe, Ruth Simmons, Paul 
Skrade, Al Smith, Stacie Stanfield, Mike 
Stoakes, Greg Swick, C. Teator, Jeff Telleen, Ed 
Thelen, Mike Thelan, Denny Thompson, Bill 
Tollefson, Matt Torres, Edge Wade, Chris 
West, Doug Willis, Geoff Wolfe. 


Walter Wehtje, The Crane Trust 
6611 West Whooping Crane Drive 
Wood River, Nebraska 68883 (wwehtje@cranetrust.org) 




VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


89 



Tennessee & Kentucky 


A = Ken!uc^Dam 
B ~ Barkley Dam 
C = Kentucky Lake 
D ^ Barkley Lake 
E = Jonathan Creek 
EmbaymenI 
F - Land Between 
the Lakes 
G = Blood River 
Embayment 


KENTUCKY 

Sauerheber Unit. 

s:c.g>,sWMA 

\ ^-.Red River Gorged 

\ Henderson Bemheim Forest Boone/ f G^ogicsl Area \ 


Smithland Dam^ 
Ballard WMA - AR 

Cl 

.__Gi 

. •»- Parish 

Landing SPi 
Beelfm,^ rmnsssee/W/? 

Big Sandy Unit ; 


Long Point Unit. : 
ReeltootNWR . 

"J " 


■Cross Creeks NWR 


"McEln>y L/ 
Chaney L 


Barren Forest,-' { 

BigSo uUi _ 


p\n® ^ ^ Black Mtn. 

^Cu mberland Gap NHP 

S. Holston Lak^ 


' Tennessee A/lVf? 
-■ Forest SP Duck River Unit 

, MShe lby Farms ^ 

Enstey Bottoms Pickwick Landing SP 


^MShelby Bottoms 
Radnor Lake State 
Natural Area 


Sharp's Ridge\ 

Kingston 
Sfeam P/anf 

Hiwassee WR m > 

Craven's House TENNESSEE 


Rankin Bottoms 

* ''Xy' Roan 

Sheoy I'e/Zey 


Chris Sloan 

Brainard Palmer-Ball, Jr. 


W eather conditions during fall 2010 
were somewhat variable across the 
Region. Overall, temperatures were 
above-normal during August, with 100° F sur- 
passed at many recording stations a few times 
during the month, but precipitation varied from 
well below normal across north-central Ken- 
tucky to above normal across south-central 
Kentucky and central Tennessee, where Nash- 
ville received about two times the normal rain- 
fall amount. September remained warmer than 
normal across the Region, with Memphis reach- 
ing 100° F on the 20th and Louisville 99° F on 
the 22nd. Below-average rainfall spread in ex- 
tent during September, as moderate drought 
conditions took hold across much of Kentucky 
and west Tennessee: Louisville received a 
record-low amount of rainfall for the month (30 
mm) and Memphis received only 36 mm. Octo- 
ber continued to be warmer than normal, and 
the drought continued across all but the eastern 
portion of the Region. Warmer temperatures 
than normal continued into November, but pre- 
cipitation finally returned and many stations 
recorded above-average rainfall amounts for the 
month. Again this fall, no significant remnants 
of tropical weather systems passed across the 
Region, and the lack of unsettled weather re- 
sulted in few notable shorebird fallouts. 

Rarity highlights included White Ibis, 
Glossy Ibis, Yellow Rail, Marbled Godwit, 
Mew Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Inca Dove, 
Say’s Phoebe, and Clay-colored Sparrow in 
Kentucky, and Yellow-billed Loon, Ferrugi- 
nous Hawk, and Swainson’s Hawk in Ten- 
nessee. Irruptive boreal species were relative- 
ly scarce again this year. Natural food crops 
appeared to be in below-average supply again, 
especially where the driest conditions of late 
summer and fall persisted. 

Abbreviations: Ballard W.M.A. (Ballard, KY); 
Barren River L. (Allen/Barren, KY); Ensley 
(Ensley Bottoms, including the EARTH Com- 


plex and TVA L., in sw. Shelby, TN); 
Falls of the Ohio (on the Ohio R., 
Jefferson, KY); Jonathan Creek 
Qonathan Creek embayment of 
Kentucky L., Marshall, KY); Obion 
W.M.A. (Fulton, KY); Rankin 
(Rankin Bottoms, Cocke, TN); 
Sauerheber (Sauerheber Unit 
Sloughs W.M.A., Henderson, KY); 
Standifer Gap (Standifer Gap 
Marsh, Hamilton, TN). 

WATERFOWL 
THROUGH SPOONBILL 

Two ad. and 4 imm. Black-bellied Whistling- 
Ducks were still at Ensley 31 Aug QRW). At 
least one Greater White-fronted Goose at 
Sauerheber 19 Oct (CC) was early, and 1500 
were there by 17 Nov (CC). A Ross’s Goose at 
the Falls of the Ohio 11 Aug (DSt, ph. TB) 
represented yet another early date for the Re- 
gion; there were two reports in the e. half of 
Kentucky, singles in Russell 20 Nov (ph. RD, 
AM, GO and at Lexington, Fayette 28 Nov 
(ph. DL, BLa). A Mute Swan in Rowan, KY 1 
Aug (ph. GR) was possibly summering; one 
on L. Tansi, Cumberland, TN 24 Sep-r (ph. 
DJS) was very early, if actually a migrant. The 


first of Sauerheber’s wintering flock of Tundra 
Swans to be reported were 7 there 8 Nov 
(SD), with 28 there by 24 Nov (CC); the only 
other report was of 12 in s. Jefferson, KY 29- 
30 Nov (ph. RA et al). 

Dabbling duck migration was unremark- 
able across the Region, with the following 
modest peak counts reported: at least 350 
Gadwalls in Union, KY 3 Nov (BP, EHu, CC); 
at least 1000 Gadwalls at Jonathan Creek 17- 
27 Nov (MMi et al.); at least 500 Green- 


winged Teal in Union, KY 31 Oct (BP, EHu); 
more than 100 Green-winged Teal at the Falls 
of the Ohio 10 Oct (MAu); 53 Northern Pin- 
tails in Union, KY 3 Nov (BP, EHu, CC); at 
least 100 Redheads on the Ohio R. at 
Louisville 19 Nov (DSt et al.); 100 Buffle- 
heads on Barren River L. 24 Nov (DR); and 
200 Ruddy Ducks on Barren River L. 16 Nov 
(DR, TD). Two Buffleheads at the weir below 
South Holston Dam, Sullivan, TN 10-24 Aug 
(RoK et al.) were among the earliest ever 
recorded in the Region. One to 13 Surf Scot- 
ers were reported on five occasions at two 
Kentucky locales (Barren River L. and the 
Ohio R. at Louisville) 16-23 Nov; in Ten- 
nessee, 9 were at Austin Springs, Washington 
20 Oct (RLK), and one was at Coro L., Mem- 
phis 24-26 Nov There were three re- 

ports of White-winged Scoter: one at the Ealls 
of the Ohio 15 Nov (EHu, DSt), 2 on the Mis- 
sissippi R. at Memphis, TN 18 Nov QRW), 
and 2 on the Ohio R. at Louisville, KY 20 Nov 
OPu, DPu). An excellent flight of Black Scot- 
ers in Kentucky was highlighted by a new 
state high count of 18 on the Ohio R. at 
Louisville 3 Nov (EHu, BP et al); otherwise, 
one to 7 were found on a dozen occasions at 
seven locales 4-24 Nov. There were three re- 


ports from Tennessee: 10 females on Upper 
Douglas L., Cocke 2 Nov (MS); 7 females on 
South Holston L., Sullivan 16 Nov (RLK); and 
a female at Britton Ford, Tennessee N.W.R., 
Henry 19 & 27 Nov (MT; JRW). There were 
two reports of Long-tailed Duck: a female on 
J. Percy Priest L., Davidson, TN 10 Nov (RCo) 
and a male on Kentucky L. above Kentucky 
Dam 28 Nov (BY, MY, DR). 

A Common Loon on Cave Run L., KY 7 
Sep (DL) may have summered; peak counts of 



Red-necked Grebes continue to be annual but rare visitors to Tennessee and Kentucky. This bird was present at Lexington, 
Kentucky 28-29 (here 29) November 2010. Photograph by Eddie Huber. 


90 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


TENNESSEE & KENTUCKY 



This nicely photographed Glossy Ibis was present at the Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, 

Rowan County, Kentucky 5-9 (here 9) October 201 0. Photograph by Lana Hays. 


migrants were average in the Region. The 
confluence of the Tennessee R. and Big Sandy 
R. in Henty, TN is the best place in the Region 
for observing rare loons and large concentra- 
tions of Common Loons, and this season did 
not disappoint. Four species of loons were re- 
ported from the area 7 & 27 Nov, including 
approximately the state’s 7th or 8th Yellow- 
billed Loon, one Pacific Loon, and up to 3 
Red-throated Loons O^W). A Pacific Loon 
was also seen there 14 Nov (MT), and a juv. 
was at Booker T. Washington S.P, Hamilton, 
TN 19-20 Nov (tKAC). An Eared Grebe re- 
turned to South Holston L., Sullivan, TN 30 
Aug (WC), making this the 17th consecutive 
fall with at least one reported there; one was 
still present there 24-27 Oct (RLK). Else- 
where in the Region, single Eared Grebes 
were on the Mississippi R., Memphis, TN 20 
Oct QRW), on the Mississippi R. near Tip- 
tonville Bar, Lake, TN 31 Oct QRW), and at 
the Ealls of the Ohio 3 Nov (tDSt). Two Red- 
necked Grebes were reported: an imm. at 
Reelfoot L., Lake, TN 13 Nov QRW) and one 
at Lexington, KY 28 Nov+ (ph. JPu et al.). 

Two American White Pelicans on L. Barkley, 
Lyon, KY 18 Aug QR) and 4 Sep (BP, EHu, 
MMn) were likely continuing from summer 
and may be resident due to injury, but 10-15 
above Barkley Dam 16 Sep (DMa) were early 
migrants. About 2000 on L. Barkley, Trigg 20 
Oct (HC) represented the peak count for the 
season. Pelicans e. of their normal range in- 
cluded one in Nelson, KY 13 Sep-Nov (JN, BP, 
JBe, PB) and 3-6 on Barren River L. 29 Oct-5 
Nov (DR et al.), tvith one lingering through 25 
Nov (DR). Three reports of Wood Storks were 
all from sw. Tennessee, where the species is ex- 
pected annually: one in Madison 20 Aug (MT), 
one at Mud L., Shelby 4 Sep QRW, CBl), and 2 
there 19 Sep ORYV). A report of several Least 
Bitterns at Sauerheber in early Aug (MMr, fide 
SV) was the only report for the Region; sur- 
prisingly, none were reported from Standifer 
Gap, where the species has been regularly en- 
countered in recent years. An American Bittern 
was at Brainerd Levee, Hamilton, TN 27 Sep-3 
Oct (TJ et al.). Post-breeding concentrations of 
herons and egrets were unremarkable, al- 
though Little Blue Herons were reported in 
higher numbers than average in e. Tennessee, 
including at least 28 imms. at Rankin 2 Aug 
(MS, RLK). As has become the norm in recent 
years, small numbers of Great Egrets remained 
through Nov in the Region. A Tricolored 
Heron was at Three Rivers W.M.A., Obion, TN 
10 Sep (MG). Following the unprecedented 
numbers of White Ibis in Jul, many were not- 
ed in Aug. In Kentucky, there were two reports: 
a juv. at Lake No. 9, Fulton 5 Aug (ph. DR) and 
9 juvs. at Obion W.M.A. 18 Aug (ph. RD, HC 


et al), with 6 still there 19 
Aug (BP, EHu, MMn). One to 
4 were reported from five e. 
and middle Tennessee coun- 
ties 6 Aug-4 Sep; in w. Ten- 
nessee, 2 were at Duck River 
Unit, Tennessee N.W.R., 

Humphreys 6 Aug (SSo, ES, 

KN), and one was at Mud L., 

Shelby 4 Sep QRW, CBl); 4 
imms. at Rankin 28 Sep-2 
Oct (MS) were unusually 
late. A Glossy Ibis was pres- 
ent at the Minor Clark Eish 
Hatchery, Rowan, KY 5-9 Oct 
(MWr, ph. LH). and 3 Ple- 
gadis ibis were at Phipps 
Bend, Hawkins, TN 20 Aug 
(RCr). A Roseate Spoonbill was at Phipps 
Bend, Hawkins, TN 19-21 Aug (ph. BH). 

RAPTORS THROUGH TERNS 

At least 3 Swallow-tailed Kites, regular but 
unpredictable vagrants in the Region, were re- 
ported from Tennessee: one in Sequatchie 14- 
20 Aug (HW et al), one in Rhea 15 Aug 
(S&GW), and one (which could have been 
the same bird) at Et. Campbell, Montgomery 
15 Aug and 2 Sep (DMo). A light-morph Har- 
lan’s Hawk returned to Wairen, KY for at least 
the 10th consecutive winter (DR). An imm. 
Ferruginous Hawk in Lake, TN 21-22 Nov 
QRW; MG) was only the 2nd ever reported 
from Tennessee and the Region. A juv. Swain- 
son’s Hawk was in Carroll, TN 27 Sep (MT). 
Three Golden Eagles were reported: one in 
Henry, TN 7 Nov QRW), an imm. at Roan 
Mt., Carter, TN 12 Nov 
(RLK), and a juv. in Rowan, 

KY 20 Nov (ph. GR). Single 
Merlins were reported on 15 
occasions at 13 Kentucky lo- 
cales 13 Sep-28 Nov; singles 
were reported in Tennessee 
from nine counties. There 
were seven Kentucky reports 
and eight Tennessee reports 
of migrant Peregrine Ealcons 
26 Aug-30 Nov. A tardy re- 
port of a new nesting pair 
near the Ohio R., Pendleton, 

KY (KH) was noteworthy, 
and a juv. banded in Jeffer- 
son, KY as a nestling in May 
2010 (KH) migrated north- 
ward and may have established a territory in 
Dearborn, MI {fide DO). 

Soras were again relatively scarce; one or 2 
were reported from four Kentucky locales 3 
Sep-31 Oct; in Tennessee, 2 were at Standifer 
Gap 26 Aug (TR), and up to 3 were at the 


Wal-Mart Distribution Center, Greene 31 Oct 
and 6 Nov (DMi). Virginia Rails were unre- 
ported away from Standifer Gap, where a high 
of 4 was reported 26 Nov (DPa). A Yellow 
Rail was flushed by an active combine in e. 
Jefferson, KY 19 Oct (tBP, WG). A family 
group of Common Moorhens at Sauerheber 
during early Aug (MMr, fide SV) represented 
the only report in Kentucky; singles were in 
Tennessee at Keystone Pocket, Reelfoot L., 
Lake 25 Sep QRW, MWe, JN) and at John Se- 
vier L., Hawkins 27-30 Sep (SH). A Sandhill 
Crane in s. Warren, KY 16 Aug (DR) was out 
of season. 

Shorebird migration was not spectacular, 
largely due to high water along the Region’s 
major rivers combined with little available 
habitat elsewhere. There were a few notable 
high counts: 42 American Golden-Plovers in 


Union, KY 24 Sep (BP) that tied the state’s 
high count for fall; 1300-1400 Killdeer in the 
Upper Hickman Bottoms, Fulton, KY 4 Aug 
(DR); and 1150 Killdeer at Barren River L. 29 
Nov (DR). Unusually tardy shorcbirds includ- 
ed 6 American Golden-Plovers at Austin 



This immature Roseate Spoonbill, a rare vagrant in Tennessee but especially so in 
eastern Tennessee, was at Phipps Bend, Hawkins County 19-21 (here 19) August 
2010. Photograph by Brent Harris. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


91 


TENNESSEE & KENTUCKY 



White-rumped Sandpipers are regular in spring but rare in fall in Tennessee. This 
crisply plumaged juvenile was photographed 10 October 2010 at Rankin Bottoms in 
Cocke County. Photograph by Michael Sledjeski. 


Springs, Washington, TN 4 Nov (RLK); single 
American Golden-Plovers at L. Cumberland, 
Pulfls/d, KY 16 Nov (RD) and at Jonathan 
Creek through 29 Nov (ME); a Lesser Yel- 
lowlegs at Barren River L. 12 Nov (DR, DB, 
SSt); 2 Bairds Sandpipers at Sauerheber 31 
Oct (BP, EHu, CC); 5 Stilt Sandpipers in 
Union, KY 3 Nov (BP, EHu, CC); 3 Long- 
billed Dowitchers on Kentucky L., Calloway, 
KY 11 Nov (HC); 3 Long-billed Dowitchers at 
Lauderdale Waterfowl Refuge, Lauderdale, TN 
13 Nov ORW); a Greater Yellowlegs at Britton 
Ford, Tennessee N.W.R., Heniy, TN 12 Nov 
(EE PC); and 3 Greater Yellowlegs at Laud- 
erdale Waterfowl Refuge, Lauderdale, TN 13 
Nov ORW). 

A juv. Piping Plover at Island 13, Lake, TN 
9 Sep (MT) was the only one reported. A fam- 
ily group of Black-necked Stilts including 
young not fully grown was present at Obion 
W.M.A. 6-19 Aug (ph. HC et ah), confirming 
breeding at that location for the first time. 
There were six reports of American Avocets: 4 
in w. Fulton, KY 18 (RD, HC) & 23 Aug (MT); 
one at Upper Douglas L., Cocke, TN 26 Aug 
QPa); one at Mud L, Memphis, TN 12 Sep 
(JRW); one on the Mississippi R., Carlisle, KY 
20 Sep (DR); one in Fayette, KY 28 Oct (DL, 
ph. LS et al); and 3 at Britton Ford, Tennessee 
N.W.R.. Heniy, TN 12 Nov (FF PC). Six Wil- 
lets on the Mississippi R. in Carlisle, KY 2 Sep 
(DR) were the only ones reported. There were 
six reports of Upland Sandpiper: one in the 
Lower Hickman Bottoms, Fulton. KY 4 Aug 
(DR); 3 at Obion W.M.A. 8 Aug (BY, MY); one 
in Lake, TN 10 Aug (MG); one at North Treat- 
ment Plant, Shelby, TN 15 Aug QRW); one at 
Ballard W.M.A. 17 Aug (HC, RD); and one at 
Ensley 22 Aug QRW). A juv. Marbled Godwit 
was at Ensley 28 Aug (ph. JRW); another was 
reported at the Falls of the Ohio 25 Sep 
(tDC). A Whimbrcl feeding on grasshoppers 


on Big Bald Mt., Unicoi, TN 
16-21 Sep (RM et al.) repre- 
sented the 3rd record for the 
species from the high-eleva- 
tion grassy mountain balds 
in ne. Tennessee. Single 
Ruddy Turnstones were 
found at two Kentucky lo- 
cales: L. Cumberland, Pulas- 
ki 14-15 Aug (RD) and L. 
Barkley, Lyon 4 Sep (BP, 
EHu, MMn); in Tennessee, 
only 5 singles were report- 
ed, all from locations near 
the Mississippi R. in Shelby 
and Lake. Sanderlings were 
relatively scarce in Ken- 
tucky, with only one to 3 re- 
ported at five locales 23 
Aug-24 Sep; in Tennessee, one to 6 were re- 
ported from five locations 22 Aug-3 Oct. 
Baird’s Sandpipers passed through in relative- 
ly normal numbers, although 18 at Island 13, 
Lake, TN 9 Sep (MT) made a noteworthy high 
count. White-rumped Sandpipers are rare fall 
transients in the Region, so up to 2 at Rankin 
Bottoms, Cocke, TN 26 Aug-4 Sep and 10 Oct 
(RLK, ph. MS) and an ad. at Ensley 6 Sep (ph. 
JRW) were noteworthy. Western Sandpipers 
continued their overall scarcity of recent 
years, with only one to 4 reported at six Ken- 
tucky locales and one to 10 reported at only 
three Tennessee locations. Buff-breasted 
Sandpipers made a pretty decent showing: 
one to 13 were observed at six Kentucky and 
four Tennessee locales. Short-billed Dowitch- 
ers were quite scarce in Kentucky, with one to 
2 reported on only three occasions. A Long- 
billed Dowitcher at Upper Douglas L., Cocke, 
TN 29 Sep-2 Oct (RLK, MS) was rare for e. 
Tennessee. There were only four reports of 
Wilson’s Phalarope: one at L. Cumberland, 
Pulaski, KY 13 Aug (ph. RD); 2 at Ballard 
W.M.A. 8 Sep (EHa); one at 
Rankin Bottoms, Cocke, TN 
9 Sep (RLK); and one in 
Washington, TN 28 Sep 
(GE). Red-necked Phala- 
rope reports included one at 
the Blood R. embayment of 
Kentucky L., Calloway, KY 
12 Sep (HC); 2 on L. 

Barkley, Lyon, KY 19 Sep (vt. 

DR); one in Union, KY 24- 
25 Sep (ph. BP et al.); and 
one at Upper Douglas L., 

Cocke, TN 28 Sep (ph. MS). 

Remarkably, single Red 
Phalaropes were pho- 
tographed in Tennessee at 
Old Hickory L., Wilson/ 


Sumner 11 Sep (ph. JJ), John Sevier L., 
Hawkins 30 Sep-1 Oct (ph. SH), and Upper 
Douglas L., Cocke 2-10 Oct (ph. MS). 

Up to 3 Laughing Gulls were reported at 
Kentucky L./L. Barkley, KY 2 Aug-4 Nov, and 
2 were seen just s. of there in Hairy, TN 19 & 
26 Sep (MT; JRW). Up to 5 were at Upper 
Douglas L., Cocke, TN 26 Aug-10 Oct QPa. 
RLK, m.ob.), and a late one was at South Hol- 
ston L., Sullivan, TN 26 Nov (RLK). Preceded 
by an early bird on L. Barkley, Lyon, KY 3 Sep 
(DR) and 4 at Upper Douglas L., Cocke, TN 
29 Sep (RLK, MS), Franklin’s Gulls staged a 
brief but pronounced movement through the 
Region from mid- to late Oct, with high 
counts that included exceptional tallies of 
140 at Barren River L. 27 Oct (ph. DR) and 
117 at Reelfoot L., Lake/Obion, TN 31 Oct 
ORW); small numbers continued to trickle 
through into mid-Nov. An ad. Mew Gull ap- 
peared at Barren River L. 18 Oct (ph. DR et 
al.), the same day one was seen last year; the 
bird was last reported 24 Oct. Up to 4 Lesser 
Black-backed Gulls were reported from Ken- 
tucky L./L. Barkley, KY on several occasions 8 
Sep-4 Nov. Several were also reported from 
various points in Tennessee farther s. along 
the Tennessee R. 26 Sep-28 Nov, with a note- 
worthy high count 5-6 at Paris Landing S.P, 
Henry 26 Sep QRW). A first-cycle Lesser at 
Upper Douglas L., Cocke, TN 3 Oct (RLK, 
RoK) furnished approximately the 6th e. Ten- 
nessee record. A first-cycle Thayer’s Gull was 
at Pickwick Dam, Hardin, TN 28 Nov (JRW), 
and a first-cycle Glaucous Gull was below 
Kentucky Dam 30 Nov (tBP, EHu). A second- 
cycle Little Gull visited Reelfoot L., 
Lake/Obion, TN 21 Nov QRW). A first-cycle 
Black-legged Kittiwake on Kentucky L. above 
Kentucky Dam 4 Nov (tBP, EHu) was the first 
reported in Kentucky in ten years. 

Tern migration was mostly unremarkable. 
At least 75 Black Terns were on the Mississip- 



Photographed 2 October at Upper Douglas Lake, Cocke County, this Red Phalarope 
was one of three documented in Tennessee during the fall 2010 season. Photograph 
by Michael Sledjeski. 


92 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


TENNESSEE & KENTUCKY 


pi R. in Carlisle, KY 2 Sep (DR). Common 
Terns were found in Kentucky on only three 
occasions: one on L. Barkley, Livingston 3 Sep 
(DR); 20 on L. Barkley, Lyon 8 Sep (DR); and 
one at Barren River L, 29 Oct (DR, TD). In 
Tennessee, there were four reports, all from e. 
Tennessee: singles at Chester Frost C.R, 
Hamilton 4 Sep (DJ) and at Nickajack L., Mar- 
ion 13 Sep (KAC); 11 at South Holston L, 
Sullivan, TN 27 Sep (RLK); and 2 at Upper 
Douglas L., Cocke, TN 29 Sep (RLK, MS). A 
distant unidentified jaeger in Henry, TN 7 
Nov ORW) was thought to be a Pomarine. 

DOVES THROUGH WAXWING 

An Inca Dove in the Lower Hickman Bot- 
toms, w. Fulton, KY 19 Aug (MMn, tBP, EHu) 
was Kentucky’s 3rd, while Tennessee’s 4th was 
reported not far away at Bessie Bend, Lake, 
TN 25 Aug (MG). Monk Parakeets are not 
known to nest in the Region, so an apparent- 
ly feral one at Robco L., Shelby, TN 12 Sep 
QRW) was a surprise. A banded Black-billed 
Cuckoo (certainly the one banded during Jul 
at the same locale) at Shaker Village, Mercer, 
KY 9 Sep was seen collecting and carrying off 
caterpillars, documenting nesting (KH et ah); 
also reported were singles at Lexington, KY 
11 Sep (LS, ASK), s. of Mt. Zion, Allen, KY 5 
Oct (MBy, DT), and at Beaman Park, David- 
son, TN 9 Oct (TL). In addition, in ne. Ten- 
nessee, where Black-billeds are perhaps more 
regular than elsewhere in the Region, 3 were 
reported from Carter and one from Unicoi 
(fide RLK). A Short-eared Owl in Union, KY 
31 Oct (BP, EHu) was the earliest to be re- 
ported; other reports of interest included one 
in Cumberland, TN 10 Nov (EL), 4 in Lake, 
TN 13 Nov QRW), 5 near Bon Ayr, Barren, KY 
20 Nov (DR), and 12 in e. Shelby, KY 20 Nov+ 
(HB). A day-flying Long-eared Owl in Henry, 
TN 7 Nov (]RW) was a surprise. Twenty 
Northern Saw-whet Owls were banded at a 
station in ne. Jefferson, KY 21 Oct-24 Nov 
(MMn, BP et ah); the only banding report for 
Tennessee was of one from Knox 7 Nov (MAr 
et ah). An ad. female Rufous Hummingbird at 
Bardstown, Nelson 14 Nov-r (ph. PG, b. BP, 
MMn et al.) was the only one reported in 
Kentucky; only 4 were reported in Tennessee 
through Nov. An apparent Broad-billed Hum- 
mingbird present at Madisonville, Hopkins 
during the last week of Oct and the first week 
of Nov (ph. Bj) will become a first Regional 
record if accepted by the Kentucky B.R.C. A 
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Sauerheber 12 
Sep (CC) represented a new early arrival date 
for Kentucky. 

Single Olive-sided Flycatchers were report- 
ed at eight Kentucky and four Tennessee lo- 
cales 7 Aug-11 Sep. Singles at Craven’s 


House, Hamilton, TN 26 Sep (KAC) and at 
Cades Cove, Great Smokey Mts. N.P, Sevier, 
TN 5 Oct (WB) were exceptionally late. Sin- 
gle Yellow-bellied Flycatchers were reported 
on seven occasions at six Kentucky locales 
and on four occasions at three Tennessee lo- 
cales 17 Aug-26 Sep. An Alder Flycatcher was 
heard calling at Obion W.M.A. 2 Sep (DR); 
another likely Alder came in but did not reply 
to taped calls at Green River L., Adair, KY 9 
Sep (RD). One was heard and photographed 
at Bessie Bend, Lake, TN 26 Aug (ph. MT). A 
Willow Flycatcher at Standifer Gap 6 Sep (DJ, 
KAC) was the only one reported. A Wil- 
low/Alder Flycatcher was banded at Cave 
Creek, Pulaski, KY 6 Oct (b. LO). A Say’s 
Pboebe in ne. Jefferson 11 Sep (ph. BP et al.) 
was Kentucky’s 6th. A Scissor-tailed Flycatch- 
er was still in Rutherford, TN 9 Oct (SSo). 
Continuing a recent trend. Common Ravens 
were reported in lower-elevation areas in Sul- 
livan, Washington, and Hawkirrs, TN. Single 
Purple Martins at Jolly’s Landing, Lake, TN 25 
Sep ORW, MWe, JN) and at Ensley 17 Oct 
QRW) were unusually late. Red-breasted 
Nuthatches staged a relatively early move- 
ment into the Region; singles heard in ne. Jef- 
ferson, KY 28 Aug (BP) and seen at Southgate, 
Campbell, KY 14 Sep (FR) were the earliest to 
be reported; by mid-Oct, the species was rela- 
tively widespread in small numbers. A Blue- 
headed Vireo in Trigg, KY 11 Nov (BLi) was 
relatively tardy. Two territorial Sedge Wrens 
were present in ne. Jefferson, KY early 
Aug-Sep (BP); an ad. and at least 2 juvs. were 
observed at Sauerheber 25 Sep (BP). A Marsh 
Wren heard in ne. Jefferson, KY 23 Aug (BP) 
was early. Passage of Marsh and Sedge Wrens 
was otherwise normal. 

THRUSHES THROUGH FINCHES 

A predawn vigil in Krwx, TN 26 Sep resulted 
in the detection of vocalizations of an esti- 
mated 100 Veeries, 50 Gray-cheeked Thrush- 
es, and 500 Swainson’s Thrushes (KDE). 
A Gray Catbird near City L., Putnam, TN 26- 
27 Nov (SSt) was unusually late. A flock of 
350 American Pipits in Washingtorr, TN 19 
Nov (RLK) was among the highest ever 
recorded in the Region. Cedar Waxwings 
were widespread in moderate numbers during 
the latter half of Oct into Nov. Two Lapland 
Longspurs were at Limestone, Washington, 
TN 11-27 Nov (RLK, m.ob.); this species is 
rare away from the w. portion of the Region, 
although fairly regular at this location. 

It was an excellent season for Golden- 
winged Warblers; mostly singles were report- 
ed on 22 occasions at 13 Kentucky locales 
and on eight occasions at eight Tennessee lo- 
cales 23 Aug-21 Sep. A Brewster’s Warbler 



Say's Phoebes have been one of the more regularly occur- 
ring western vagrants in Kentucky during the past several 
years. This bird — the state's fourth in less than three 
years — was present in Jefferson County 1 1 September 

2010. Photograph by Braiaard Palmer-Bali, k. 

was observed nw. of Bardwell, Carlisle, KY 18 
Sep (MMn, BP). Unusually early warblers in- 
cluded a Nashville Warbler in e. Jefferson, KY 
21 Aug QBe, PB, CBe), a Cape May Warbler in 
Pulaski, KY 24 Aug (RD), and a Palm Warbler 
in Curnberlatrd, TN 5 Sep (EL). There were 
four reports of single Cape May Warblers in 
Tennessee: in Greene 15 Sep and 11 Oct 
(DMi); at Lick Creek W.M.A. , Benton 16 Sep 
QRW); and at Casey Cove, Dekalb 25 Sep (EL, 
SSt). Tardy warblers included a Yellow War- 
bler in Trigg, KY 10 Oct (BLi); a Magnolia 
Warbler at Lake Cumberland S.P, Russell, KY 
4 Nov (RD); a Louisiana Waterthrush at Rad- 
nor Lake State Natural Area, Davidson, TN 1 1 
Sep (CS, MLB); a Cerulean Warbler at Mam- 
moth Cave N.P, Edrnotrson, KY 12 Sep (TD); 
an Ovenbird in Hamilton, TN 8 Oct-3 Nov 
(LW); a Northern Waterthrush at Harpeth 
River Greenway, Davidson, TN 14 Nov (FF) 
that established a new late date for the 
Nashville area; a Common Yellowthroat be- 
low Barkley Dam, Lyon, KY 17 Nov (MAu); 
and a Wilson’s Warbler at Prospect, Jefferson, 
KY 22 Nov (TJKr). Single Black-throated Blue 
Warblers were found at four Kentucky locales 
9-24 Sep. Single Blackpoll Warblers, rare in 
fall throughout the Region, were at Fairfield 
Glade, Currrberlarrd, TN 14 Sep (JC, fide SSt) 
and in Knox, TN 26 Sep (KDE). Four Con- 
necticut Warblers were reported: one in 
Boone, KY 5 Sep (LM); one in e. Jefferson, KY 
7 Sep OBe. PB); one in Madison, KY 12 Sep 
(tRF, RB); and one banded on Big Bald Mt., 
Urricoi, TN 30 Sep (MH). One to 2 Mourning 
Warblers were found on only three occasions 
in Kentucky and three occasions in Tennessee 


VOlUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


93 


TENNESSEE & KENTUCKY 


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29 Aug-25 Sep. 

The only report of Clay-colored Sparrow 
came from s. Jefferson, KY 15 Oct (tMAu). 
Two Lark Sparrows in nw. Union, KY 13 Aug 
(CC) were the only ones reported in Ken- 
tucky; one at Kingsport, TN 2 Aug (RCr) was 
the only report other than a few near known 
breeding areas. A tally of 225 Savannah Spar- 
rows below Barkley Dam, Lyon, KY 17 Nov 
(MAu) was impressive. A Le Conte’s Sparrow 
at North Treatment Plant, Shelby, TN 15 Oct 
QRW) and at least 3 at Sauerheber 31 Oct 
(BP) were the only ones reported. Nelson’s 
Sparrows are rare migrants in mid-Oct; 2 were 
at North Treatment Plant, Shelby, TN 15 Oct 
QRW), with one still present 16 Oct Q^W), 
and 2 were at the Wal-Mart Distribution Cen- 
ter, Greene, TN 18 Oct (DW). A White- 
crowned Sparrow at Green River S.E, Hender- 
son, KY 26 Sep (BP, KOS) tied the early fall ar- 
rival date for the state. A female Summer Tan- 
ager in Sequatchie, TN 23 Nov (CBl) and a 
Scarlet Tanager in Blount, TN 4 Nov (TH) 
were late. A female Northern Cardinal incu- 
bating on a nest in Boone, KY 6 Sep (LM) and 
a recently fledged juv. Indigo Bunting banded 
in Mercer, KY 9 Sep (b. KH et al.) both repre- 
sented relatively late breeding attempts. Sin- 
gle Blue Grosbeaks in ne. Jefferson, KY 23 Oct 
(MAu) and at Sauerheber 25 Oct (CC) were 
late. A few Dickcissels lingered in Kentucky 
into fall; highlights included 15-20 near Clear 
Creek W.M.A., Hopkins, KY 4 Sep (BP, EHu, 
MMn) and one at the Long Point Unit of 
Reelfoot N.W.R., Fulton, KY 14 Oct (RD). 

A Bobolink lingering at Sauerheber 
through 31 Oct (ph. CC, BP, EHu) represent- 
ed a new late departure date for Kentucky. A 
Western Meadowlark in Union, KY 31 Oct 
(tBP, ph. EHu) represented the only report. A 
Rusty Blackbird heard singing in Henderson, 
KY 9 Oct (DR, TD) was relatively early. Brew- 
er’s Blackbirds were reported at hve w. Ken- 
tucky locales 31 Oct+, with at least 50 just e. 
of Madisonville, Hopkms 29 Nov (BP, EHu) 
representing the largest group. The Purple 
Pinch flight was about average for recent 
years; 2 at Red River Gorge, Powell, KY 23 Oct 
(BP) were the earliest to be reported. A slight- 
ly below-average flight of Pine Siskins oc- 
curred; one heard in Barren, KY 20 Oct (DR) 
and 2 at Lexington, KY 23 Oct QPu, DPu) 
were the earliest to be reported. By early Nov, 
small numbers were relatively widespread 
across the Region, with 30 at Cub Run, Hart, 
KY 5 Nov QKi) representing the largest num- 
ber reported. 

Errata: In the previous fall season report, the 
date of 19 Sep 2009 was omitted for the Least 
Bittern in Putnam. In the same report, 2 White 


Ibis at Little Elder 1. 22 Aug 2009 should have 
been listed in Franklin rather than DeKalb, TN. 

Addendum: A Sandwich Tern on the Ohio R. 
below Smithland Dam, Livingston, KY 5 Sep 
2008 (ph. DR) has been accepted by the Ken- 
tucky B.R.C., making it the Region’s first 
record. 

Cited contributors (subregional editors in 
boldface): Ryan Ankeny, Mark Armstrong 
(MAr), Michael Autin (MAu), Audubon Soci- 
ety of Kentucky (ASK), Rebecca Bates, 
Matthan Beachy (MBy), Tom Becker, Jane Bell 
QBe), Pat Bell, Carol Besse (CBe), Warren Bie- 
lenberg, Michael Lee Bierly (MLB), Clyde 
Blum (CBl), David Brown, Horace Brown, 
Kevin A. Calhoon (KAC) (se. Tennessee), 
Phillip Casteel (middle Tennessee), Hap 
Chambers, Wallace Coffey, Derek Coomer, 
Richard Conners (RCo), Granville Cox, 
Charlie Crawford, Rack Cross (RCr), John 
Cyrus, Roseanna Denton, Scott Dickman, 
Tom Durbin, Melissa Easley, K. Dean Ed- 
wards, Glen Eller, Prank Fekel, Robert Foster, 
Bill Friel, Paula Geihs, Mark Greene, Wallace 
Gullett, Erin Harper (EHa), Brent Harris, 
Lana Hays, Kate Heyden, Mark Hopey Tom 
Howe, Eddie Huber (EHu), Susan Hubley 
Becky Jackson, Daniel Jacobson, Tim Jeffers, 
Jake Jung, Kentucky Ornithological Society 
(KOS), Janet Kistler 0^0, Rick L. Knight 
(RLK) (ne. Tennessee), Roy Knispel (RoK), 
John Krull OKr)- Betsy Lang (BLa), Tony 
Lance, David Lang, Edmund LeGrand, Bill 
Lisowsky (BLi), Don Martin (DMa), Rad 
Mayfield, Lee McNeely Don Miller (DMi), 
Mike Miller (MMi), Mark Monroe (MMn), 
Arlene Morton, Mike Morton (MMr), Daniel 
Moss (DMo), Jason Nally Kira Newcomb, 
John Noel, Darrin O’Brien, Laura Obiso, 
Brainard Palmer-Ball, Jr., David Patterson 
(DPa), Jim Pawlicki QPa). Doreen Pulliam 
(DPu), Joe Pulliam OPu), Frank Renfrew, 
John Rice, Gerald Robe, Tommie Rogers, 
David Roemer, Ed Schneider, Lou Shain, 
Michael Sledjeski, Chris Sloan, Scott Somer- 
shoe (SSo), D.J. Stanley, Stephen Stedman 
(SSt), Del Striegel (DSt), Mike Todd (w. Ten- 
nessee), Daniel Troyer, Shawchyi Vorisek, 
Melinda Welton (MWe), Darel Wilder, Shane 
& Greg Williams, Hayden Wilson, Jeff R. Wil- 
son, Libby Wolfe, Mike Wright (MWr), Ben 
Yandell, Mary Yandell. iSr 


Chris Sloan, 224 Hicks Road 

Nashville, Tennessee 37221, (csloanl973@gmail.com) 

Brainard Palmer-Ball, Jr. 

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission 
801 Schenkel lane, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601 
(brainard.palmer-ball@ky.gov) 


94 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


Alabama & Mississippi | 


Florence Wheeler 



Greg D. Jackson 


A fter the extraordinary fall of 2009, we 
had a correction back to normal this 
year. Activity at inland and coastal 
sites was generally average in variety and 
numbers, though as customary for this sea- 
son, several exciting surprises spiced the mix. 
No tropical systems had significant impact on 
the Region this fall. Coastal areas contended 
with the Gulf oil spill and associated clean-up 
efforts, though we were not impacted as se- 
verely as Louisiana. Despite frequent fronts 
from late August through September, Septem- 
ber was drier than usual. Reported peaks of 
bird activity came 27-28 August, 26 Septem- 
ber-3 October, and 14-16 October. 

Abbreviations: Dauphin (Dauphin I., Mobile, 
AL); Delta (Mississippi Delta of nw. and w.-cen. 
Mississippi); Ft. Morgan (Fort Morgan State 
Historical Park, Baldwin, AL); G.C. (Gulf Coast 
Region, Mobile/Baldwin, AL); l.C.P. (Inland 
Coastal Plain Region of s.-cen. Alabama); M.R. 
(Mountain Region of n. Alabama); Noxubee 
(Noxubee N.W.R., Noxubee/Oktibbeha/Winston, 
MS); T.V (Tennessee Valley Region of n. Ala- 
bama); Wheeler (Wheeler N.W.R., Lime- 
stone/Morgan/Madison, AL). 

WATERFOWL THROUGH STORKS 

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck continues to 
increase in our Region; an exciting rarity only 
a few years ago, the species has become ex- 
pected, mostly in the Delta but even in coastal 
Alabama. Breeding was conhrmed for the 2nd 
time in Alabama this autumn at the now reg- 
ular site of Blakeley I., Mobile, with a new 
state maximum of 27 (including 16 young) 
found 29 Aug QAB). More unusual were 7 
Black-bellieds beginning 15 Aug s. of Magno- 
lia Springs, Baldwin, AL (DP et ah); on the 
late date of 15 Nov, 7 were noted in 


Humphreys, MS (RH). Ross’s Goose is expect- 
ed in small numbers now in both states. Six 
Ross’s at Wheeler 31 Oct (GDJ, DGJ) set an 
early Alabama record, one was in Gulf S.P., 
Baldwin, AL 11 Nov (ph. KH), and another 
was spotted 23 Nov at Noxubee (TLS). A 
male Eurasian Wigeon, Alabama’s 9th, was at 
Eufaula N.W.R., Barbour 26 Nov (LS&HK), 
Two Blue-winged Teal were late 20 Nov in 
Quitman, MS (WRP). Rare inland Surf Scoters 
included 3 in DeSoto, MS 5 Nov (WRP) and 6 
in Henry 20 Nov (MM, PM); the latter fur- 
nished a 3rd I.C.R record. Even more unusu- 
al inland is Black Scoter; in Oktibbeha, MS, up 
to 15 were noted beginning 6 Nov (TLS, ZL, 
AG), and 5 were discovered in Henty 11 Nov 
(EB) for a 3rd I.C.R sighting. A local arrival 
date was eclipsed by a Ruddy Duck at Nox- 
ubee 21 Aug (ZL, AM, TC). 

An imm. Red-throated Loon in Henty 11 
Nov (EB) was the 4th for the I.C.R; another 
was spotted at Guntersville, Marshall, AL 29 
Nov (SS), where the species is rare but ex- 
pected. An Eared Grebe was a rarity 4 Nov in 
Oktibbeha, MS (TLS). Though found in large 
numbers in summer and fall well inland in 
our Region, Wood Stork is rare in the G.C.; 
up to 8 were noted 1-8 Aug in n. Baldwin 
(MJJ). Only occasional in Alabama, an ad. 
Brown Booby established a late state record 
19 Oct near Gulf Shores, Baldwin QH, JFH, 
p.a.). Though regular now in the Delta, a 
count of 35 Neotropic Cormorants at St. 
Catherine Creek N.W.R., Adams 14 Aug 
QNW, TLS et al.) was unusually high; at the 
same location that day, two Double-crested 
Cormorant nests with young were document- 
ed (TLS, m.ob.), rare for Mississippi. 

Up to 325 Great Egrets at a roost in the Mo- 
bile Delta of n. Baldwin, 

AL 24-25 Aug (MJJ) set a 
new G.C. fall maximum. 

Three Snowy Egrets, rare 
but regular in the T.V, 
were noted in Lauderdale 3 
Aug (DJS). An autumn 
high count for Alabama, 
as many as 400 Little Blue 
Herons were in n. Baldwin 
24 Aug-12 Sep (MJJ). Tri- 
colored Heron is rare in- 
land in Alabama, so single 
imms. were noteworthy in 
Montgomery 1-8 Aug 
(LFG) and in Shelby 8-14 
Aug (GDJ), the latter set- 
ting a 6th M.R. record. 

White Ibis is rare but ex- 
pected in small numbers 
in late summer and fall in 
the T.V; singles were in 


Colbert 3 (DJS) & 29 Aug (MMo). The im- 
pressive roost of large wading birds in n. Bald- 
win produced up to 1750 White Ibis 24 
Aug-5 Sep (MJJ), providing an Alabama max- 
imum for fall. Nine White-faced Ibis were no- 
table in Adams, MS 14 Aug QNW, TLS, MHS); 
Alabama had 19 prior records, so lone indi- 
viduals 28 Aug in Mobile (CH et al.) and 28 
Sep at Ft. Morgan (RAD, LRD et al.) were 
good finds. Any Plegadis is rare inland in Ala- 
bama; one was at Wheeler 15 Oct (CDC, 
MJI). A Roseate Spoonbill, rare but increasing 
in Alabama, was in the roosting mix in n. 
Baldwin 8 Aug (MJJ, EBa). Mississippi has 
seen a marked increase in recent years, espe- 
cially in the Delta, but few would have pre- 
dicted an astounding 500 spoonbills — shat- 
tering the state’s previous maximum count — 
at St. Catherine Creek N.W.R., Adams 14 Aug, 
especially in the company of 3000 Wood 
Storks ONW, TLS, m.ob.)! 

RAPTORS THROUGH TERNS 

Only the 5th for the T.V, a Swallow-tailed Kite 
was a surprise in Madison 22 Aug (HH et al). 
Lovely and unexpected, a White-tailed Kite in 
Humphreys 1 Oct (p.a., RH) was only the 2nd 
for inland Mississippi. Single Mississippi 
Kites, rare but increasing in the M.R., were lo- 
cated in St. Clair 18 Aug (HHW, ASC) and in 
Talladega 21 Aug (GJH). Rare in the T.V, 
though probably breeding some years at 
Wheeler, a lone Mississippi appeared nw. of 
Decatur, Morgan 16 Sep (SWM). An ad. Fer- 
ruginous Hawk commanded attention at Ans- 
ley Hancock 5 Nov (p.a., NRB), establishing 
only the 11th record for Mississippi. Merlin is 
a rare but regular inland transient; four reports 
came from n. Mississippi 29 Aug-23 Nov 



One of 13 Worthern Saw-whet Owls captured in fall 2010 at Clay, Jefferson County, Ala- 
bama, this fierce mite was banded 5 November. Photograph by Martha B. Sargent. 


VOIUME 65 (2011) 


NUMBER 1 


95 



ALABAMA & MISSISSIPPI 



Mississippi's second Lesser Nighthawk was a traffic casualty 29 October 2010 near 
Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Jackson County. Photograph by Jake N. Walker. 


(GCK, SGK, TLS) and two from the M.R. 20 
Sep (GDJ, DGJ) and 12 Oct (MJI). A Prairie 
Falcon, Alabama’s 7th, caused a mad scramble 
at the compilation of the A.O.S. meeting 10 
Oct at Dauphin (p.a., DJS, AH, m.ob.). 

Behind schedule, a Purple Gallinule lin- 
gered through 29 Oct at Noxubee (TLS, 
m.ob.). Locally rare were 6 Sandhill Cranes in 
Oktibbeha. MS 27 Nov (TLS). Rare but regular 
inland. Black-bellied Plover records included 
12 in s. Lee 8 Aug (LW, KJ), setting an I.C.P. 
maximum, and 4 in Lafayette, MS 10 Oct 
(GCK, JRW). Expected in small numbers in 
fall, 6 American Golden-Plovers were report- 
ed in four locations 29 Aug-19 Oct (MMo, 
SWM, GCK, DPy et al). Furnishing a fall Al- 
abama maximum, 320 Killdeer were counted 
in Lauderdale 3 Aug (DJS). American Avocet 
is a rare and elegant inland treat; one was 
found in Marshall, AL 3 Sep (MMo), 9 were in 
Sunflower, MS 5 Sep (WRP), and another ap- 
peared in Chickasaw, MS 13 Nov (WRP). Rare 
away from the coast, 3 Willets were noted in 
Periy, AL 9 Aug QTG), and singles were spot- 
ted in Adams, MS 14 Aug (TLS, MHS, JNW) 
and in s. Lee, AL 18 Aug (LW, KJ). Hudsonian 
Godwit is only occasional in the Region but is 
particularly scarce in autumn; one was a hne 
discovery, and the 8th for Mississippi, in Jack- 
son 4 Nov (p.a., NM, JNW, m.ob., ph.). Occa- 
sional inland, a Marbled Godwit dominated 
the scene in Marshall, AL 6 Aug (LBR, RAR). 

A Ruddy Turnstone, rare inland, was in 
Periy, AL 17 Aug OTG). Scarce in fall, a max- 
imum of 3 White-rumped Sandpipers were 
identihed in Montgomery, AL 8-21 Aug 
(LFG), and another was in s. Lee 8 Aug (LW, 
KJ). Rare in the I.C.P, up to 2 Baird's Sand- 
pipers were at two sites in Montgomeiy 8 
Aug-4 Sep (LFG, KAC et ah). A Baird’s was 
locally rare in Chickasaw, MS 18 Sep (WRP); 
more expected, though late, was an individual 
at Blakeley 1., Mobile, AL 16-17 Oct (MJI, 
m.ob,). Stilt Sandpiper, scarce in the I.C.P, 
was noted in Montgomery 8 Aug-16 Sep 


(LFG, m.ob), with the 
count of 54 on the last date 
a maximum for inland Ala- 
bama. Rare, especially in- 
land, Wilson’s Phalaropes 
were in Montgomery, AL 16 
Aug (KAC) and 16-19 Sep 
(2, LFG et al); as many as 6 
Wilson’s were at Blakely L, 
Mobile, AL 29 Aug-4 Sep 
QAB, CH et ah), and 2 were 
tardy there 30 Oct-10 Nov 
(CH, ECS). A rare Red- 
necked Phalarope was in 
Sunflower, MS 21 Aug-5 Sep 
(MH et al, ph.). Even more 
unusual was a Red Phalarope in Oktibbeha, 
MS 5-9 Nov (p.a., TLS, m.ob., ph.), providing 
the 4th and latest local area record. 

Rare but regular inland, up to 3 Laughing 
Gulls were noted in Marshall, AL 4 Sep-2 Oct 
(MMo); singles were in Lafayette, MS 12 Sep 
(GCK, SGK), at Wheeler Dam, Lauderdale/ 
Lawrence, AL 29 Sep (SWM), and at Wheeler 
15-20 Oct (CDC, MJI). Though numbers 
fluctuate annually, Franklin’s Gull has be- 
come regular in the Region in autumn. Rare 
in Alabama, an ad. appeared in Marshall 11 
Oct (ph. KAC), a hrst-cycle was at Wheeler 
15 Oct (CDC, MJI), and 2 ads. were in s. Bald- 
win 19 Oct QH, JFH); a first-cycle bird was 
the 7th for the I.C.P in Heniy 31 Oct 0??)- 
and 2 of these petite gulls were at Ft. Morgan 
1 Nov (LFG). More numerous in Mississippi, 
40 Franklin’s were found in Yalobusha 30 Oct 
(GCK, SGK, NL). At least 3240 Ring-billed 


Gulls at the mouth of Bear Cr., Colbert 10 Nov 
QRW) furnished a maximum in fall for Ala- 
bama. Lesser Black-backed Gull continues to 
increase in Alabama and is now expected in 
many areas in small numbers; I received six 
reports of 10 birds this fall. An ad. Lesser 
Black-backed in s. Baldwin 4 Aug (KR) pro- 
vided an early state record, and a third-cycle 
bird at Wheeler Dam, Lauderdale/Lawrence 23 
Aug (DJS) was the earliest inland. Alabama’s 
first recognized Herring Gull x Lesser Black- 
backed Gull hybrid was in Baldwin and Mo- 
bile 17 Jul-22 Nov (MJI, CM et al, ph.); this 
individual was color-banded as a chick in 
coastal Maine in Jul 2009. Great Black-backed 
Gull has become rare but expected in the 
G.C., especially in the vicinity of Dauphin; a 
first-cycle bird was on W. Dauphin I. 10 Oct 
(MJI, HEH, BCG et al., ph.). More unusual in 
Mississippi, 2 first-cycle Great Black-backeds 
were on Deer L, Hairison 13-22 Sep 
DM, ph., p.a.). Herring Gull x Kelp Gull hy- 
brids, well known from nearby se. Louisiana 
(“Chandeleur Gull”), were first documented 
in Alabama only in 2009; subsequently, this 
hybrid has been seen several times on the 
coast and this year even nested. One, proba- 
bly in its third plumage cycle, was discovered 
10 Oct on W. Dauphin L, Mobile (ph. MJI, 
m.ob.). Sandwich Tern becomes scarce in 
Nov, so a count of 240 at a single site in s. 
Baldwin 9 Nov (GDJ, DGJ) was impressive. 

CUCKOOS THROUGH THRUSHES 

Black-billed Cuckoo, rare but regular in the 
G.C. in fall, was noted at Dauphin 9-10 Oct 


^ fi "What hath night to do with sleep?" — John Milton, Comus 

•j/iThe Sargents' labors of love to band Northern Saw-whet Owls continued full bore in the 2010-201 1 field season. For this 
4th session of operations, they convinced Humrner/Bird Study Group banding associates at two other n. Alabama sites of the 
joys of sleep deprivation and bleeding fingers in pursuit of these elusive mites. Prior to the start of banding operations in late 
2007, Alabama had only seven records of the species, just one of these a vocal response to recordings. The tally for the state 
now stands at 87, almost all the result of H.B.S.G. banding work using audio-lures at the nets. While clearly Saw-whets respond 
in winter to recordings, in Alabama they usually do so silently (or perhaps with a faint chuckle at the frustrated humans wait- 
ing for a recognizable call). Patterned after the work of Scott Weidensaul and others at the Ned Smith Center in Pennsylvania, 
the Alabama banding program has opened new windows into the distribution of this species in the Deep South. 

Twelve owls were banded 2 Nov-4 Dec at Qay, Jefferson, and another was captured that had been banded 17 Mar 2010 
in Michigan (RRS, MBS, ph.). In Hollins, Clay, AL, 79 km se. of the Sargents' site, 9 were banded 4-21 Nov (MW, DW), and one 
was captured that had been banded the month prior in New York. At Chandler Mt., St. Clair, 40 km ne. of Jefferson, an im- 
pressive 14 birds were banded in Nov (FM, BM). 

From this work, a pattern of Northern Saw-whet Owl occurrence in n. Alabama is beginning to emerge. Since banding 
commenced in 2007 (through winter 2010-2011), 67 have been captured in the period 30 Oct-9 Dec, 11 birds (including 
three recaptures) from mid-Dec through Jan, and only 7 owls (two recaptures) in the period Feb-12 Mar; banding efforts 
have continued each year through the winter. These results suggest mostly fall migration through this area, with only a few 
birds remaining (or widely dispersing) locally in midwinter, and minima! return passage in early spring. With a fresh influx of 
first-year birds, and some mortality over the winter, autumn numbers might be expected to be higher than early spring. How- 
ever, so much disparity between the periods raises a question of differential migration patterns. More sleepless nights may 
be required to fully reveal the quiet movements of this tiny owl. 


96 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



ALABAMA & MISSISSIPPI 



A surprise in the nets at Fort Morgan, Baldwin County, this Varied Thrush banded 
16 October 2010 was only the third ever recorded in Alabama. Photograph by 
Martha B. Sargent. 


(ECS, SWM et al.) and at Ft. Morgan 17-18 
Oct (RRS et al, b.). An ad. male Lesser 
Nighthawk found dead near Grand Bay 
N.W.R., Jackson 29 Oct (p.a., JNW, 
*M.M.N.S.) was only the 2nd for Mississippi. 
Rare but now regular, single Buff-bellied Hum- 
mingbirds were banded at two sites in Mobile, 
AL, an early individual 7 Sep (FB, S&BC) and 
another 19 Nov (FB, D&VB). Olive-sided Fly- 
catcher is a rare-but-expected transient in ear- 
ly fall; 2 were spotted at Noxubee 26 Aug 
(D&JP, DD). Yellow-bellied Flycatcher passes 
through our Region in small numbers each 
fall; this season saw 12 reports of 15+ birds 25 
Aug-18 Oct, most in Alabama. Setting a max- 
imum fall number for Alabama, and an overall 
high tally for the G.C., 30 Acadian Flycatchers 
were counted 19 Sep in n. Baldwin (MJJ). The 
calling Alder Flycatcher in Montgomery 25-26 
Sep (LFG) was only the 6th for the I.C.P. A 
rare Ash-throated Flycatcher was identified in 
Jackson, MS 30 Oct (p.a., JNW). Scarce inland, 
and representing a 7th local record, a Western 
Kingbird was in Lowndes, MS 6-7 Sep (D&JP 
et al). Alabama’s latest fall record of Eastern 
Kingbird came 24 Nov at Eufaula N.WR., Bar- 
bour (SPM, MMe). 

Single rare Bell’s "Vireos were discovered in 
Adams, MS 21 Aug (p.a., JAB, HRJ) and 13 Oct 
on Dauphin (LRD et al). A Blue-headed Vireo 
in Elmore 3 Sep (RR) furnished an early l.C.E 
arrival date, and hot on its tarsi was another 5 
Sep at a different Elmore site (LFG). Only occa- 
sional in the I.C.P, and earliest on record in 
fall, a Warbling Vireo was found 1 Aug at 
Montgomery (BC). Scarce but more expected 
in the G.C., lone Warblings were noted 2 Oct at 
Ft. Morgan (HEH et al.) and 9 Oct on Dauphin 
(MJI et al). Breaking an Alabama arrival record 
by three weeks, a singing Philadelphia Vireo 
was studied 7 Aug in Jackson (KAC, DRJ). Ty- 
ing a local departure date, a Yellow-throated 
Vireo was in Lowndes, MS 22 Oct (D&JP). 

Fish Crow, though still rare, continues a 
gradual increase in the T.V.; 24 set a new T.V 
maximum on the Tennessee R., Limestone/ 
Lawrence 20 Sep (DJS, SWM), and 2 were at 
Wheeler 15 Oct (CDC, MJI). For Mississip- 
pi’s 13th occurrence, 4 Cave Swallows ap- 
peared in Jackson 18 Oct (p.a., JNW, DM); 
oddly, this species is becoming regular in au- 
tumn in coastal Mississippi, but Alabama has 
no coastal records in that season. Early local 
records were set by a Brown Creeper in Col- 
bert, AL 30 Sep (DJS et al.) and by 2 on 
Dauphin 9 Oct (MJI, HEH, JAT). Now only 
occasional in Alabama, a Bewick’s Wren was 
a good find at Blakeley I., Mobile 16 Oct 
(CH). House Wren is a localized breeder in 
the e. portion of the M.R., but nesting is more 
unusual farther west; a pair producing 2 


young was observed in 
Marion through Aug (ET). 

Furnishing an early M.R. 
record, a Winter Wren 
bounced into view 2 Oct in 
Birmingham (GDJ); anoth- 
er tied a local arrival date 4 
Oct at Noxubee (TLS). 

Ahead of schedule, a 
Gray-cheeked Thrush set a 
new M.R. record beginning 
2 Sep in Birmingham (KA et 
al). At the other end of the 
spectrum, a Gray-cheeked 
23 Oct at Noxubee (ZL, JL) 
provided a local area depar- 
ture date. Pre-dawn counts 
of calling migrants in Montgomery established 
new I.C.P maxima for Swainson’s Thrush, first 
29 Sep with 52 birds, then 14 Oct with 61 
(LFG). Alabama’s 3rd Varied Thrush was an 
eye-popper in the nets at Ft. Morgan 16 Oct 
(p.a., RRS, MBS, m.ob., b., ph.). 

LONGSPURS THROUGH FINCHES 

Five Lapland Longspurs in Oktibbeha 30 Oct 
(ZL) were the earliest on record for Mississip- 
pi. Surely tachycardia ensued when a female 
Snow Bunting materialized at a popular gull- 
watching site in Guntersville, Marshall 22 Nov 
(p.a., KAC, m.ob., ph.); this beauty, the 3rd for 
Alabama, was enjoyed by many well past the 
end of the period. Though probably an occa- 
sional breeder in the I.C.P, a Blue-winged 
Warbler at Montgomery 7 Aug (LFG) was 
more likely an early transient. Several early 
Tennessee Warblers were noted this season. 
One was spotted 29 Aug in Lee, MS (WRP), 
and an I.C.P record was broken by single Ten- 
nessees 5 Sep in Elmore (LFG) and in Macon 
(ECS). A rare I.C.P Nashville Warbler was not- 
ed 14 Sep at Montgomery (LFG); rare but reg- 
ular in the M.R., singles were spotted 25 Sep in 
Calhoun (DMc) and Lee QH, JFH et al). Eight 
Nashvilles on Dauphin 2 Oct (CH et al.) fur- 
nished a maximum for Alabama. The l.C.E re- 
ceived another arrival record 7 Aug with a 
Chestnut-sided Warbler at Montgomery 
(LFG). Rare in autumn, a Cape May Warbler 
was studied in Lee 5 Sep (LW). Black-throated 
Blue Warbler is scarce inland, especially in the 
w. portion of our Region; females were ob- 
served in Colbert 30 Sep (DJS et al.) and at 
Noxubee 10-25 Oct (AG, m.ob.), the latter 
only the 2nd local record. Alabama’s earliest 
Yellow-rumped Warbler was recorded 18 Sep 
in Marshall (MMo). Excepting the occasional 
winter record, a Yellow-throated Warbler in 
Jackson 4 Nov (DC, JC) was the latest for in- 
land Alabama. Two Palm Warblers in Hale 13 
Sep QAT) gave the I.C.P a new arrival date, as 


did a Bay-breasted Warbler 4 Sep at Mont- 
gomery (LFG). Rarely found in the TV, a 
Swainson’s Warbler was noted in Colbert, AL 
27 Aug (DJS et al). The elusive Mourning 
Warbler is rare but regular in our area in fall. 
Singles were noted 28 Aug in Colbert, AL (ph. 
BC), 9 Sep in Oktibbeha, MS (ZL), 19 Sep on 
Dauphin QNW et al), and as late as 19 Oct in 
Lafayette, MS (GCK, SGK). Ten years after Al- 
abama’s first MacGillivray’s Warbler was 
banded at Ft. Morgan, an exciting encore oc- 
curred there 10 Oct (p.a., FB, RRS, ER et al, b., 
ph.). The Hooded Warbler at Noxubee 28 Oct 
(TLS) was well behind schedule. Rare but reg- 
ular in the M.R., individual Wilson’s Warblers 
were spotted in Birmingham 18 & 20 Sep 
(GDJ, DGJ) and in Calhoun, AL 22 Sep (DMc). 
The Canada Warbler in Colbert 17 Aug (DJS, 
JaP) provided a new T.V arrival mark. Setting 
a late local date, a Yellow-breasted Chat was 
observed 27 Oct in Lowndes, MS (D&JP). 

Rare and local in the M.R., a new site for 
Bachman’s Sparrow was discovered 10 Aug 
with a singing male in Coosa QAT). Clay-col- 
ored Sparrow is rare but regular in the G.C. in 
autumn; 2-3 were noted at Ft. Morgan 13-18 
Oct (RAD, LRD, RRS et al, one b.), and an- 
other was at the unusual site of Blakeley 1., 
Mobile 16-17 Oct (CH, m.ob.). Furnishing a 
new arrival date for the Mississippi coast, a 
Lark Sparrow was found 1 Aug in Jackson (ph. 
JLR). Nine Lark Sparrows at the curious loca- 
tion of Blakeley 1. 28 Aug (CH, m.ob.) provid- 
ed a G.C. high count. A new autumn M.R. 
maximum, 8 Grasshopper Sparrows were in 
Cherokee 7 Aug (MS, TK, AGM); 3 in Clay, MS 
15 Oct (D&JP) were locally rare for fall. The 
Fox Sparrow in Lowndes, MS 9 Oct (D&JP) 
was well ahead of the flock. Rare for the M.R., 
Lincoln’s Sparrows were seen in Birmingham 
29 Oct (GJH) and in Lee 5 Nov (JH). A tally of 
113 Swamp Sparrows in Hale 28 Oct QAT) 
marked a fall Alabama maximum. Casual in 
our Region, a Gambel’s White-crowned Spar- 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


97 


! ALABAMA & MISSISSIPPI 


row was on Dauphin 9-11 Oct (MJl, HEH et 
al., ph.). Locally early was a Dark-eyed Junco 
in Lowndes, MS 29 Sep (D&JP). 

Western Tanager is rare but increasing in 
Alabama, particularly on the coast; single 
birds were on Dauphin 16-20 Oct (SW, JNW, 
JH et al.) and in s. Baldwin 26 Nov (CM). Set- 
ting a new late local date, 2 Indigo Buntings 
were at Noxubee 19 Nov (ZL, JL). Represent- 
ing a fall maximum for Alabama, and a high 
count at any season in the M.R., 40 Dickcis- 
sels were tallied 7 Sep in Cherokee (MS, TK, 
AGM). Rare but regular in fall in the G.C., 
lone Bobolinks were noted on Dauphin 5-6 
Sep (CL et al, ph.) and 22 Oct (CH). An esti- 
mated 25,000 Red-winged Blackbirds at 
Wheeler 3 Nov (CDC) furnished a new fall 
Alabama maximum, and 4500 in Barbour 29 
Nov (A&TH) did the same for the I.C.R A fe- 
male Yellow-headed Blackbird was a rare find 
at Ft. Morgan 29 Sep (MR et al.). Another fall 
Alabama top count was provided at Wheeler 
15 Oct, when 6000 Brown-headed Cowbirds 
were noted (CDC); the maximum for the 
l.C.P was reset 29 Oct in Hale by 3000 QAT). 


Red Crossbill continued at the only known 
Alabama nesting locale in Cleburne, with the 
20+ birds seen 18 Oct (DT et al.) above previ- 
ous local tallies of this fascinating species. 

Cited observers (subregional editors in bold- 
face): Alabama Ornithological Society, Ken 
Archambault, Eva Barnett (EBa), Fred Bassett, 
Eric Boehm, Ned R. Boyajian, Donna & Vic 
Bullard, J. Allen Burrows, Kevin A. Calhoon, 
Shirley & Bob Cantrell, Jan Chadwell, David 
Chaffin, Bala Chennupati, Alice S. Christen- 
son, Tara Conkling, C. Dwight Cooley, Deb- 
bie Dailey, Lucy R. Duncan, Robert A. Dun- 
can, James E Flynn, Lawrence E Gardella, Ben 
C. Garmon, Jeff T. Garner, Alban Guillaumet, 
Andrew Haffenden, Holly Hansen, Greg J. 
Harber, Michael Harvey, Rob Heflin, Chazz 
Hesselein, Kathy Hicks, James E Holmes, Jim 
Holmes, Anmarie & Terry Honan, Howard E. 
Horne, Hummer/Bird Study Group, Marshall 
J. lliff, Debra G. Jackson, Greg D. Jackson 
(Alabama), Kevin Jackson, Daniel R. Jacob- 
son, Heath R. Jordan, Michael J. Jordan, Ty 
Keith, Gene C. Knight, Shannon G. Knight, 


Loretta S. & Henry Kolodzieski, Graig Lit- 
teken, Jill Loman, Zachary Loman, Nick 
Lund, Nancy Madden, Chester Martin, Steve 
W. McConnell, Chris McCready, Don McKee, 
Debbie McKenzie (DMc), Patty McLean, 
Mark McShane, Micah Messer (MMe), 
Stephen P. Messer, Anne G. Miller, Adrian 
Monroe, Brandee Moore, Fred Moore, Matt 
Morrow (MMo), Diane & Jim Patterson, 
Wayne R. Patterson, Jack Paul 0aP)> David 
Plumb, David Pylant (DPy), Joseph L. Ravita, 
Linda B. Reynolds, Richard A. Reynolds, 
Emma Rhodes, Merilu Rose, Kerry Ross, 
Martha B. Sargent, Robert R. Sargent, Marion 
H. Schiefer, Terence L. Schiefer (Mississip- 
pi), Mississippi Museum of Natural Sciences, 
Maureen Shaffer, Damien J. Simbeck, Eric C. 
Soehren, Scott Somershoe, Eugene Tidwell, 
John A. Trent, David Trendy, Jake N. Walker, 
S. Welles, Lorna West, Don Wilson, Jeff R. 
Wilson, Mary Wilson, Harriett H. Wright. 


Greg D. Jackson, 2220 Baneberry Drive 
Birmingham, Alabama 35244 
(g_dJackson@bellsouth.net) 


Arkansas & Louisiana 


mCraig Fish Halcheiy 
•Harrison 

\ • Fayetteville 

ARWHSAS Jonesboro. 

’ Ft. Smith 

• ■ I 

: LDardanelle Comvay 

Hulsey Stale Joe Hogan State 

: Fishhfatchery • Fish l^atchery ^ 

White 

DeGray L.m " RiverU c/ i 

■ NWR 

ArkadelphiaOxi- 
dation Ponds 


BigJ,ake NWR 



GULF OF MEXICO 


Steven W. Cardiff 


T he Deepwater Horizon oil disaster con- 
tinued to dominate Louisiana’s coastal 
scene, at least early in the period. Al- 
though public concern about the disaster 


seemed to decrease dramatically as media 
coverage tapered off, following the successful 
plugging of the well blowout in latejuly, oiled 
bird monitoring projects actually escalated 
during September, as a number of Natural Re- 
source Damage Assessment (NRDA) process 
survey crews were deployed into the field. On 
the negative side, results of these NRDA 
trustee-sponsored projects could not be re- 
leased due to confidentiality issues, and thus 
any discoveries of the oil spill’s impacts on 
birds could not be shared with anyone out- 
side of the NRDA process. Frustratingly, this 
policy generally applied even to documenta- 
tion for rare or uncommon species seen dur- 
ing surveys or brought to oiled bird rehabili- 
tation facilities. On the positive side, there 
was a surge in birding coverage, as NRDA bird 
contractors and other oil-spill related bird 
surveyors spent their free time covering 
coastal migrant traps, inevitably resulting in 
an outstanding assortment of noteworthy ear- 
ly and late transients and vagrant species. 
Meanwhile, “non-NRDA” surveys of targeted 
coastal Louisiana sites by teams from 
Louisiana State University Museum of Natu- 
ral Science and Barataria-Terrebonne Nation- 
al Estuary Program provided the birding pub- 
lic with at least limited information from the 


oil impact zone and generated baseline com- 
parative data for future reference, not to men- 
tion producing a few unusual bird sightings 
along the way. 

After a long, hot, oily summer, autumn av- 
eraged mercifully milder and dry, with moder- 
ate drought conditions continuing in some ar- 
eas of the Region, especially western and 
northern Louisiana; as in fall 2009, there was 
no tropical cyclone activity. If there was a gen- 
eral bird theme for fall 2010, it would have to 
be the impressive number of early migrant/ar- 
rival dates that were generated, combined with 
substantial irruptions of Winter Wrens, Brown 
Creepers, and Golden-crowned Kinglets. 

Abbreviations: B.K.N.W.R. (Bald Knob 
N.W.R., White, AR); B.R.A.S.S. (Baton Rouge 
Audubon Society Sanctuary, Johnsons Bayou, 
Cameron, LA); B.S.N.W.R. (Bayou Sauvage 
National Wildlife Refuge, New Orleans, Or- 
leans, LA); C.EH. (Craig Fish Hatchery, near 
Centerton, Benton, AR); C.F.P. (Craighead 
Forest Park, Craighead, AR); C.N.E (Camp 
Nine Farm, Desha, AR); E.G.T.I. (East Grand 
Terre I., e of Grand Isle, Plaquemines, LA); L.E 
(L. Fayetteville, Fayetteville, Washington, 
AR); L.S.U.M.N.S. (Louisiana State University 
Museum of Natural Science); M.L. (Millwood 


98 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


ARKANSAS & LOUISIANA 


L., AR); T.EE (Treadway’s Fish Farm, near 
Hickory Plains, Prairie, AR); WW.P (Woolsey 
Wet Prairie, near Fayetteville, Washington, 
AR). Counties/parishes are indicated only for 
the initial mention of a specific locality, and 
states are indicated only for the initial men- 
tion of counties/parishes, except to avoid con- 
fusion. For records of “review list” species, 
documentation has been received and records 
have either been accepted by, or acceptance is 
pending by, the respective state bird records 
committee. Significance for Arkansas records 
is based on Arkansas Birds, Their Distribution 
and Abundance Oanies and Neal 1986) and 
the Arkansas Audubon Society (AAS) online 
bird record database (for records since 1986). 
Significance for Louisiana records is based on 
the bird record card file database and the 
Louisiana Bird Records Committee archives at 
the Louisiana State University Museum of 
Natural Science, as well as the most recent 
draft of the forthcoming Birds of Louisiana 
(Remsen, Cardiff, Dittmann, and Dickson). 

WATERFOWL 

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks continue to 
increase in Arkansas, as exemplified by a 
record high of 85 at C.N.F 11 Sep (DB), close- 
ly followed by another record high of 110 at 
Ashdown, Little River 4 Oct (CM). Twenty-six 
Fulvous Whistling-Ducks at C.N.E 11 Sep 
(DB) included 5 half-grown ducklings, pro- 
viding further evidence of breeding in se. 
Arkansas; 25 at Pass a Loutre W.M.A., Plaque- 
mines 23 Oct (AK) were unusual and late mi- 
grants in se. Louisiana. A Mallard on remote 
E.G.T.I. 25 Aug (ph. DLD, SWC) was per- 
plexing, as the species is not known to breed 
on the immediate coast, and migrants do not 
arrive until much later. Reported belatedly, a 
Mottled Duck at B.K.N.W.R. 9 Jul (KN) was 
unusually far n. for Arkansas. Apparently un- 
precedented numbers for Arkansas, an esti- 
mated 10,000-12,000 Blue-winged Teal were 
at C.N.E 5-11 Sep (DB); relatively high num- 
bers were also reported in nw. Arkansas dur- 
ing late Sep, with a maximum of 444 at L.E 24 
Sep (H. David Chapman). A Cinnamon Teal 
was a good find at M.L., Howard 11 Oct (CM); 
there are only about 20 occurrences for 
Arkansas. A pair of free-flying Ringed Teal 
(Callonetta leucophrys) n. of Kaplan, Vermil- 
ion, LA 20 Aug (ph. MJM) had certainly es- 
caped from captivity or had been released. A 
Surf Scoter w. of Belle Pass (mouth of Bayou 
Lafourche near Port Fourchon), Lafourche 18 
Oct (ph. DBo, MMS) established a new early 
date for Louisiana. The only other scoter re- 
ports were of single Surf Scoters on L. 
Pontchartrain at Mandeville, St. Tammany, LA 
17 Nov (TT et al.) and at Bear Creek L., Lee, 


AR 27 Nov (ph. John Mor- 
row), plus 3 Black Scoters 
near Cameron, Cameron 11 
Nov (ph. PEC). A rare 
Long-tailed Duck at L.E 22 
Nov (AS, JCN) was the only 
report. A Red-breasted Mer- 
ganser near Thornwell, Jef- 
ferson Davis 3 Nov (SWC, 
ph. DLD) was an unusual 
sight in Louisiana’s sw. rice- 
growing region; also some- 
what noteworthy for the n. 
interior were 1 1 at Bob Kidd 
L., Washington, AR 20 Nov 
(ph. AS), 3 the same day at 
DeGray Lake S.P., Clark, AR 
(KH et al.), and 10 at Caney 
Creek Res., Jackson, LA 25 
Nov (DBo). 



This Pacific Loon, an adult still mostly in alternate plumage, at Craighead Forest 
Park, Craighead County, Arkansas 2 October 2010 was record early by over a month. 
Photograph by Mitchell Pruitt. 




LOONS 

THROUGH STORK 

A Pacific Loon at C.EP 2 Oct 
(ph. MP) extended the 
Arkansas early fall date by 
more than a month. Reports 
of Eared Grebes, which seem 
to be on the decline in the 
Region, included singles on 
the Cameron coast at Holly 
Beach 6 Nov (DEL, JC) and 
at Rutherford Beach 27 Nov 
(PEC), one at Caney Creek Res. 14 Nov (ph. 
DBo), and 3 at L.E 24-26 Nov QP, Donald 
Ouellet, MAM). A near-ad. Masked Booby at 
Raccoon L, Isles Dernieres, Terrebonne, LA 18 
Sep-15 Oct (Melanie Driscoll, David J. Ringer, 
ph. Kim Hubbard, DBo, ph. MMS) provided a 
rare “onshore” occurrence. A Neotropic Cor- 
morant at Shreveport, Caddo 1 Sep (TD) added 
to the few previous occurrences for nw. 
Louisiana; singles near St. Gabriel, Iberville 10 
Oct and at Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge 17 
Oct (both JVR) further bolstered a pattern of 
eastward expansion into cen. Louisiana. Rela- 
tively late Magnificent Frigatebirds included 2 
inland from the outer coastline near Gibb- 
stown, Cameron 23 Oct (ph. PEC, BMM), 99 
moving down the Mississippi R. at Eort Jack- 
son, lower Plaquemines 24 Oct (PAW, DPM), 
and another in that area 7 Nov (PAW, DPM). 
An American Bittern at Port Pourchon 8 Sep 
(ph. DLD) was considered a very early fall mi- 
grant. Sixteen Least Bitterns in the Venice area 
of lower Plaquemines 2 Oct Qeff Shebot) was a 
good count, especially for the relatively late 
date. An ad. Little Blue Heron lingering at Mill- 
wood S.P, Little River, AR 30 Nov (CM) was 
quite late for so far inland, as was an ad. Yel- 
low-crowned Night-Heron at Shreveport, Cad- 


Louisiana's ninth well-documented White-tailed Hawk, also the earliest from fall 
and only the third found on the coast, was this immature near Johnsons Bayou, 
Cameron Parish 10 October 2010. Photograph by James W. Beck. 


The seventh well-documented individual for Louisiana, this 
immature Ferruginous Hawk conveniently lingered at John- 
sons Bayou, Cameron Parish 27 October through 2 Novem- 
ber (here) 2010. Photograph by Tom Finnie. 


do, LA 22 Nov OfT)- A White Ibis at Frog Bay- 
ou W.M.A., Crawford 1 Aug QCN, JBr) and 40 
at Jonesboro, Craighead 12 Sep (MP) were 
considerably farther n. than normal for 
Arkansas. Impressive numbers of Plegadis ibis 
frequented C.N.F. 20 Aug-11 Sep (DB, 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


99 


ARKANSAS & LOUISIANA 



Semi-regular coverage of Gulf of Mexico waters just off Cameron Parish, Louisiana paid off with this Parasitic Jaeger (among six Pomarine Jaegers) 20 November 2010; Parasitics are rarer in 
the Gulf than Pomarines. Photographs by Dave Patton. 



Groove-billed Anis have become much rarer in Louisiana over the past two decades, 
and most historical and recent records come from Cameron Parish and lower Plaque- 
mines Parish. This individual at Grand Isle, Jefferson Parish 1 6 October 201 0 was 
thus unexpected and also provided one of surprisingly few sightings for the island. 
Image from video by M. Mark Swan. 



Sharp eyes (and a little luck) produced this "needle-in-a-haystack" Long-eared Owl 
at Monroe, Ouachita Parish 5 November 2010; it was a first for northeastern 
Louisiana and also one of very few, and one of the earliest, fall records for the state. 
Photograph by Stephen L. Pagans. 


K&LN), with a near-record (for Arkansas) 110 there 20 Aug (K&LN); a few 
ads. that could be confirmed to species included at least 2 Glossy Ibis and 3 
White-faced Ibis II Sep (DB, ph. Sarah Baxter). Elsewhere in Arkansas, 2 
White-faced Ibis were confirmed at Little Rock, Pulaski 12 Sep (Donna Haynes, 
Becky Hannah), 3 White-faced were at M.L., Howard 27 Oct (CM), and 2 
unidentified Plegadis at L. Conway 15 Oct (Mike Stage) were possibly a first for 
Faulkner. Standing out among five s. Arkansas reports of Roseate Spoonbills 
were the up to 96 found at C.N.E 5-11 Sep (ph. DB); in Louisiana, one in St. 
Tammany 16 Aug (SW) was a good find so far e., and 26 at Red River N.W.R., 
Red River 10 Oct (JfT, JT) was a large number for the nw. part of the state. Sev- 
enty-five Wood Storks at Chicot S.P., Evangeline, LA 13 Oct (PAW) was a rela- 
tively high number for so late, and an even later individual was seen lifting off 
from the Oak Grove Sanctuary, Oak Grove, Cameron 6 Nov QMM, RT). 

KITES THROUGH CRANE 

Four Swallow-tailed Kites in West Baton Rouge 3 Aug (ph. Brennan Landry) 
could have been wandering post-breeders or early migrants, but 6 at 
B.S.N.W.R. 22 Aug (DPM) were definite westbound migrants. Mississippi Kites 
are considered rare in nw. Arkansas, so 8 reported from the Fayetteville area 
19-29 Aug (MAM, AS, Ron Foldvary) were noteworthy; 3 at Grand Isle 4 Oct 
(DBo, ph. MMS) were unusual on the se. coast and were also somewhat late. 
A breeding pair of White-tailed Kites sw. of DeRidder, Beauregard, LA success- 
fully fledged one young, with an ad. and juv. present at the nest site through at 
least 3 Oct (Matthew T. Pontiff). An ad. Bald Eagle at Bonnet Carre Spillway, 
St. Charles, LA 6 Aug (Steve Locke) and up to 3 at Cotile L., Rapides, LA dur- 
ing late Aug QVH) contributed further evidence that small numbers are now 
either summering or returning to the s. breeding grounds much earlier than 
previously considered normal. One near Cameron 13 Oct (MW) was more 
likely a rare coastal migrant, and several ads. and imms. in the Thornwell area 
during early Nov were likely a mixture of wintering birds and breeders from 
nearby Lacassine N.W.R. (SWC, DLD, m.ob). Sightings of Northern Harriers at 
Frog Bayou W.M.A., Crawford, AR 7 &t 23 Aug QCN, JBr, David Oakley) could 
have been early migrants but could also be suggestive of breeding activity in 
the area. Two Swainsons Hawks at W.WP 29 Aug (MAM) and one at C.FH. 10 
Oct (MAM, JP) were the only reports from Arkansas. In Louisiana, one at 
Cameron 29 Aug (SWC, DLD) was early for a coastal migrant, and singles at 
Covington, St. Tammany 25 Oct Oennifer O. Coulson, Tom D. Coulson) and at 
nearby Mandeville 17 Nov (GO et al.) were excellent finds for se. Louisiana, 
especially n. of L. Pontchartrain; one in lower Plaquemines 21 Nov (RDP) was 
most likely a wintering bird. An imm. White-tailed Hawk near Johnsons Bay- 
ou, Cameron 10 Oct (ph. PEC, ph. JWB) represented only about the 9th well- 
documented Louisiana occurrence and the earliest for fall. A fairly obliging 
imm. Ferruginous Hawk at Johnsons Bayou 27 Oct-2 Nov (ph.JWB et al.) was 


100 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 




ARKANSAS & LOUISIANA 




Arkansas's second Ash-throated Flycatcher in less than a year, and the first photo- 
graphically documented, visited Waparinocca National Wildlife Refuge, Crittenden 
County 31 October 2010. Photograph by Ron Howard. 


Representing Louisiana's fifth fall occurrence, this cooperative Sage Thrasher at the Sabine Nationai 
Wildlife Refuge's "Blue Goose" Nature Trail, Cameron Parish 22-B (here 22) October 2016 was also the 
earliest ever for the state. Photograph by Tom Fimie. 


only about the 7th well-documented for Louisiana and also fairly early. A pre- 
sumed breeding American Kestrel near Louisiana State University in Baton 
Rouge was last seen 2 Aug (SWC, OLD). Extraordinary numbers of Yellow 
Rails, totaling no fewer than 566 individuals, were tallied at Thornwell and 
vicinity on eight dates 31 Oct-20 Nov (spanning the Yellow Rails & Rice Fes- 
tival), with a single day maximum of 125 on 12 Nov (SWC, ph. OLD, m.ob.). 
Surprisingly rare in marshy Louisiana, a freshly dead Black Rail found at Hol- 
ly Beach 30 Oct (*L.S.U.M.N.S.; Kevin D. Colley, Jennifer Alexander) was most 
likely a fall migrant; there are only a few previous fall occurrences for the state. 
A Virginia Rail at B.S.N.W.R. 19 Sep (PAW) was fairly early for s. Louisiana. 
The few reports received for Sandhill Cranes were all from Arkansas and in- 
cluded 6 over L.E 20 Nov (especially rare in nw. Arkansas; AS et al), 5 s. of 
Hector, Pope 23 Nov (LA), and 4 over Jonesboro, Craighead 24 Nov (MP). 


Black-throated Gray Warblers are detected almost annually in Louisiana, but this individual at Grand 
Isle, Jefferson Parish 20 October 2010 was, surprisingly, only the second ever found at that frequently 
visited coastal oasis. Image from video byM. MarkSvmn. 


About the state's tenth, and the first well documented in southeastern Louisiana, 
this Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher at Grand Isle, Jefferson Parish 30 September through 
1 0 (here 6) October 201 0 was also the first one present for an extended period and 
at a "chaseable" location, much to the delight of many birders. Photograph by 
Matthew T Pontiff. 


SHOREBIRDS 

A late report was received of a breeding-plumaged ad. American Golden- 
Plover at T.EE 10 Jul (ph. K&LN), which would represent only the 2nd Jul 
occurrence (also an ad. in breeding plumage, 10 Jul 1999) for Arkansas. Four 


This ifici jl ( »: KingtC i r eai i\ t Fourchon, i a-vjiihc Pansti 26 September 

201 0 was identified as a Tropical and would become Louisiana's fifth if accepted by 
the Louisiana Bird Records Committee. Photograph by Devin Bosler. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


101 



ARKANSAS & LOUISIANA 



This Townsend's Warbler at the Baton Rouge Audubon Society Sanctuary, Johnsons 
Bayou, Cameron Parish 20 September 2010 was about the tenth for Louisiana and 
the earliest fall occurrence supported by hard evidence. Photograph by Dave Patton. 



Most recent Black-headed Grosbeak records in Louisiana have involved wintering 
birds at feeders, so this "free-range" immature male at the Baton Rouge Audubon 
Society Sanctuary, Johnsons Bayou 29-31 (here 30) October 2010 made a nice 
change of pace and spiced up the Louisiana Ornithological Society's fall weekend in 
Cameron Parish. Photograph by Tom Finnie. 


Louisiana observations of American Golden- 
Plovers made for another relatively good 
showing for this rare fall transient and in- 
cluded singles at Grand Isle 19 Sep (RDP), 
Raccoon I. 22 Oct (DBo, MMS), Lacassine 
Pool, Cameron 4 Nov (EIJ, JMM), and near 
Sweet L., Calcasieu 1 Nov (DBo). Belated re- 
ports of inland Piping Plovers included 5 ads. 
at T.EE on three dates 10-27 Jul (K&EN) and 
an ad. at B.K.N.W.R 22 Jul (KN); the only in- 
land sighting during the official fall period 
was at M.L., Howard 1 Sep (ph. CM). Twen- 
ty-six American Oystercatchers w. of Belle 
Pass 21 Sep (DBo) was a fairly large post- 
breeding aggregation for se. Eouisiana; one 
near Cameron 13 Aug OVH) was in w. 
Louisiana, where the species is encountered 
much less frequently. An estimated 250 
Black-necked Stilts at C.N.E 6 Sep (DB) was 
the 2nd highest count ever for Arkansas; per- 
haps more surprisingly, 2 at M.L., Hempstead 


30 Sep (CM) were the first 
ever recorded at this well- 
covered locale. Thirteen re- 
ports of American Avocets 
in Arkansas was above aver- 
age; most notably, the 79 at 
C.N.E 1 Oct (DB) repre- 
sented a new state high 
count, 22 in Johnson 3 Nov 
(Kiah Gardner) were late 
and may have been a coun- 
ty first, and 4 in Lonoke 27 
Nov (KH, PM) were very 
late. Sightings of Willets in- 
land (where scarce) includ- 
ed a belated report of a rela- 
tively early individual at 
B.K.N.W.R. 9 Jul (KN), 13 
at three sites in Prairiel 
Lonoke 6-14 Aug (K&LN), 
and 3 at C.N.E 11 Sep (DB). 
At least temporarily still 
considered rare away from 
the sw. coast, Long-billed 
Curlew sightings continue 
to pile up from the cen. and 
se. Louisiana barrier is- 
lands: 3 were at Whiskey 1. 
4 Aug (ph. SWe, ph. DLD, 
DP, RT), and 10 were there 
16 Sep (ph. SWe, ph. 
DLD), and on nearby Rac- 
coon L, the species was reg- 
ularly encountered 28 
Sep-3 Nov, with a peak of 
16 on 22 Oct (DBo, MMS). 
Whimbrels are also thought 
of as very scarce fall mi- 
grants in the Region, but at 
least 12 were encountered 4 
Aug-8 Oct on Whiskey 1. and East Timbalier 
I. (SWe, DED). Rare far-inland Marbled 
Godwits included M.L.’s 3rd (and first since 
1988) in Hempstead 5 Sep (CM) and one rel- 
atively late at C.N.E 2 Oct (possibly first Oct 
occurrence for Arkansas; ph. DB). A Ruddy 
Turnstone at B.K.N.W.R. 6 Aug (KN) was the 
lone fall report from the interior, and inland 
Sanderlings were also scarce (after a fairly 
good showing in Jul), with only 2 singles 
found: an ad. at Saul’s Eish Earm near Des 
Arc, Prairie, AR 26 Aug (KN) and a juv. at 
M.E., Howard 4 Sep (CM). Eive Semipalmat- 
ed Sandpipers at E.G.T.I. 7 Oct were some- 
what late (ph. DLD, ph. SWC); the species 
becomes extremely scarce after late Sep. An 
estimated 800 Western Sandpipers at 
B.S.N.W.R. 31 Oct (RDP) made an unusual 
concentration for the New Orleans area, and 
an estimated 3500 Least Sandpipers at C.N.E 
2 Oct (DB) would appear to be a new record 


high for Arkansas. A very late Pectoral Sand- 
piper was at Eacassine N.W.R. 17 Nov (ph. 
PEC, BMM). Presumed summering Dunlins 
(one of our rarer summering shorebirds) in- 
cluded one mostly in breeding plumage at 
Whiskey I. 4 Aug (ph. DLD, ph. RT) and 3 in 
nonbreeding plumage there 16 Sep (ph. 
SWC, ph. DLD); one there 27 Sep and 2 the 
next day (DBo) were not accompanied by de- 
scriptions of plumage and molt, so it’s un- 
clear if they were summering birds or early 
fall migrants. Small numbers of obvious fall 
migrants were noted at some of these sites 
beginning 7-8 Oct (SWC, DLD). Although 
only marginally late for the Region in gener- 
al, 3 Buff-breasted Sandpipers at Catahoula 
L., LaSalle 3 Oct Oonathan Clark) were al- 
most record late for the interior. About 2500 
Long-billed Dowitchers at C.N.E 2 Oct (DB) 
was the 2nd highest fall count for Arkansas. 
A very early Wilson’s Snipe was encountered 
at B.K.N.W.R. 22 Jul (KN). Some early signs 
of an above-average influx of American 
Woodcocks came in the form of rare fall nw. 
Arkansas sightings at L.E 24 Aug and 2 Nov 
(MAM), one near St. Gabriel 27 Oct (DLD), 
and birds flushed from rice fields near Thorn- 
well 5 & 12 Nov (SWC, DLD, JC, m.ob.). 
Red-necked Phalaropes are very rare in the 
Region but border on annual in fall in 
Arkansas, and this season was no exception, 
with 2 noted at L. Dardanelle, Yell 17 Sep 
(KN) and one documented at C.N.E 29 Sep 
(ph. DB). 

GULLS THROUGH DOVES 

A Eaughing Gull at M.L., Hempstead 28 Sep 
(CM) was, somewhat surprisingly, the only 
inland report of the season; also present there 
were 2 early imm. Eranklin’s Gulls (CM), and 
another early Eranklin’s was at C.N.E the 
same day (DB). Eifty-two Eranklin’s Gulls at 
Holly Beach 3 Oct (PEC, BMM, DP) was a 
good number on the coast for the relatively 
early date; observations of up to 300 per day 
on the Cameron coast 23-24 Oct (PEC, BMM, 
DBo) and a hefty 800-1000 at M.L., Little Riv- 
er 1 Nov (CM) were more reflective of the 
species’ migration peak. Another Franklin’s at 
Elmer’s L, Jefferson (just w. of Grand Isle) 17 
Oct (DBo) and 16 at Raccoon I. 22 Oct (DBo, 
MMS) were farther e., where much less fre- 
quent, and one inland at Cotile L. 7 Nov 
(jVH) was marginally late. Possibly as many 
as 50+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls were report- 
ed from the coast 10 Aug-21 Nov (m.ob.), 
with an unprecedented maximum of 25-30 in 
the Cameron-Rutherford Beach area 17 Oct 
(BMM, PEC, DP); it’s possible that consider- 
ably more were present during the period, hut 
most reports were too sketchy to allow deter- 


102 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


ARKANSAS & LOUISIANA 


mination of whether the same individuals 
were being reported on different dates. Al- 
though Great Black-backed Gulls are being 
reported with increasing frequency, there are 
still very few Louisiana occurrences from ear- 
lier than late Sep; 3 imms. at E.G.T.I. 25 Aug 
(ph. SWC, ph. DLD) were thus unexpected. A 
third-cycle Great Black-backed at the Cha- 
land Headlands (barrier island chain e. of 
Grand Isle), Plaquemines 24 Sep (p.a.; ph. 
AK) was also slightly early, and a 5 th individ- 
ual (an ad.) was reported from Raccoon 1. 22 
Oct (p.a.; DBo, MMS). A Caspian Tern at 
C.EH. 19 Oct (MAM) was exceptionally late 
for Arkansas. Straightforward Parasitic 
jaegers are seldom encountered in the Region, 
so a definitive-plumaged bird just off 
Cameron was a pleasant experience 20 Nov 
(ph. DP). A jaeger at M.L., Hempstead/Little 
River 30 Sep (CM) was thought to be a Para- 
sitic but could not be confirmed. 

Up to 14 White-winged Doves frequented a 
feeder at Fort Smith, Sebastian, AR 13 Aug-9 
Nov (Hanna Kerr, fide Bill Beall); although 
rapidly expanding northeastward in the Re- 
gion, the species is still unusual outside s. 
Louisiana. Two Inca Doves at Mandeville 17 
Aug (SW, Mollie F Cashner) and another 2 at 
Grand Isle 14 Oct (AK) were in se. Louisiana, 
where the species remains scarce and local. 
Generally a scarce bird anywhere in the Re- 
gion, a Common Ground-Dove at M.L., 
Howard 1 Nov (CM) was nonetheless another 
surprising addition to the list for that well- 
covered area; one at Grand Isle 10-14 Oct 
(DPM, AK) was a rarity on the se. coast. 

ANI THROUGH FLYCATCHERS 

Lone Groove-billed Anis at Grand Isle 16 Oct 
(AK, vt. MMS et al.) and near Venice 24 Oct 
(DPM, RDP, PAW) were the only reports and 
reflected a general downward trend for the 
species in Louisiana in recent decades. Bur- 
rowing Owls have also gradually become 
scarcer here, but a few still occasionally turn 
up in the coastal zone during fall and winter, 
as was the case this season with one seen at 
Grand Isle 20 Oct (JHi) and another docu- 
mented at Hackberry Ridge near Johnsons 
Bayou 30 Oct (ph. PEC, BMM). A Long-eared 
Owl at Monroe, Ouachita 5 Nov (ph. SLP) 
was not only a first for ne. Louisiana but the 
state’s first since 2006, one of very few ever 
found during fall, and also one of the earliest 
fall occurrences. The only Short-eared Owl of 
the season was at Bonnet Carre Spillway, St. 
Charles, LA 20 Nov (RS, MW, ph. HH). A 
briefly seen Vaux’s Swift at Baton Rouge 30 
Nov (p.a.; DFL) presumably belonged to the 
small wintering population documented to 
occur in the area in recent years. Precursors of 


a relatively good winter for the species in 
Louisiana, an imm. male Broad-billed Hum- 
mingbird appeared at Reserve, St. John the 
Baptist 24 Oct-i- (RS, b. NLN), and a one-day- 
wonder female was at Lafayette 26 Oct (DP). 
An Anna’s Hummingbird near Fayetteville 8 
Nov+ (Sara Cain-Barlett) was about the 7th 
for Arkansas and a first for the nw. area of the 
state. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers at Jonesboro 
12 & 14 Sep (MP) were very early. 

Olive-sided Flycatchers, scarce in se. 
Louisiana, were at New Orleans 22 Aug (ph. 
DPM) and at Grand Isle 18 Sep (ph. DBo). An 
exceptionally late Eastern Wood-Pewee lin- 
gered at B.R.A.S.S. 18 Nov (ph. DBo). There 
was only one report of Least Flycatcher, a late 
bird at B.R.A.S.S. 14 Nov (PAW, DPM et al). 
Seldom convincingly reported as a fall migrant 
in the Region, a calling/singing Willow Fly- 
catcher was detected at W.W.P. 1 Aug (MAM, 
JP). Relatively early fall migrant Eastern 
Phoebes made it s. to Sabine N.W.R., Cameron 
n Sep (MW) and Covington 28 Sep (Harvey 
L. Patten). Arkansas’s 2nd Ash-throated Fly- 
catcher, and the first photographically docu- 
mented, was found at Wapannocca N.W.R., 
Crittenden 31 Oct (ph. RH). Relatively late 
Great Crested Flycatchers were identified at 
Honey Island Swamp, Pearl R., St. Tammany 1 
Oct (ph. TT et al), at Grand Isle 4 Oct (DBo), 
and at B.R.A.S.S. 12 Oct (ph. DBo). Much to 
the delight of many Louisiana birders, the 
state’s 10th Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, at 
Grand Isle 30 Sep-10 Oct (JHi, ph. John Her- 
bert, m.ob.), was also the first individual that 
was at a “chaseable” location and for an ex- 
tended period. A silent Tropical/Couch’s King- 
bird near Port Fourchon 26 Sep QHi, ph. DBo) 
was reported as a Tropical (p.a.) based on its 
long bill and positive response to broadcast of 
Tropical vocalizations; another silent bird at 
Oak Grove 27 Sep (ph. MW, RB) was submit- 
ted as a Couch’s (p.a.) based on its short bill 
and positive response to broadcast vocaliza- 
tions of Couch’s. The outlier among several re- 
ports of late Eastern Kingbirds was an individ- 
ual at Venice 24 Oct (DPM). There were sev- 
eral reports of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, 
mainly reflecting strays relatively e. of normal 
(m.ob.). Some of the more interesting reports 
included up to 8 at Diamond, Plaquemines 3 & 
24 Oct (PAW, DPM), possibly representing 
early arriving wintering birds at a known win- 
tering site, late stragglers at Rogers, Benton 2 
Nov (Adam Schaffer) and at Bunkie, Avoyelles, 
LA 15 Nov (DBo), and a high count of 150 in 
Calcasieu and Cameron 12 Oct (DBo). 

¥IRE0S THROUGH WAXWIWG 

A V7hite-eyed Vireo lingered at C.ER 10 Nov 
(ph. RH). The only Bell’s Vireo report was of 


an early migrant at Fayetteville 14 Aug 
(MAM). Blue-headed Vireos at W.W.P 6 Sep 
(MAM, JP) and L.E 16 Nov (MAM) were un- 
usually early and late, respectively. Although 
there are historical sight reports from earlier 
in fall, a Philadelphia Vireo at Baton Rouge 14 
Sep OVR, ph. Richard E. Gibbons) tied the 
early “hard-evidence” date for the species in 
Louisiana. A Warbling Vireo at Mt. Nebo, Yell 
9 Oct (Dan Schieman) was very late for 
Arkansas, and one at New Orleans, also 9 Oct 
(ph. DPM), was also rather late as well as un- 
usual in se. Louisiana. Three Fish Crows at L. 
Sequoyah near Fayetteville 3 Nov OCN) were 
considered late for nw. Arkansas. An ad. male 
Purple Martin seen briefly at Baton Rouge 23 
Oct (BJO) was the latest ever for Louisiana; 
unfortunately, hard evidence could not be se- 
cured, so other dark martin species could not 
be ruled out. A Northern Rough-winged 
Swallow at Shreveport 21 Nov and 2 there the 
next day (ph. JfT, JT) were very late for the n. 
interior; about 100,000 estimated moving w. 
at Rutherford Beach during one hour 13 Oct 
(DBo) fell in nicely with other such historical 
high counts bracketing the species’ 4-23 Oct 
migration peak in Cameron. A Bank Swallow 
at the Sherburne W.M.A. South Farm Unit 
near Ramah, Iberville 30 Oct OVR) was very 
late, especially for the interior. Cave Swallows 
lingering in the vicinity of recently discovered 
breeding sites s. of Gueydan, Vermilion in- 
cluded 11 (mixed ads. and juvs.) at two sites 
3 Aug (ph. PEC) and 6 on 11 Sep (ph. MJM). 
Additional, presumed migrant Caves located 
in sw. Louisiana included one in se. Calcasieu 
21 Aug (ph. PEC, ph. DP), 6 at two locations 
near Thornwell 28 Aug (ph. PEC) and 4 in 
the same area 23 Sep (ph. DLD), and one n. of 
Kaplan, Vermilion 30 Aug (ph. MJM). 

In Arkansas, earliest among a slight influx 
of Red-breasted Nuthatches were singles at 
Wapannocca N.W.R. 25 Sep (ph. RH) and Mt. 
Magazine S.P., Logan 29 Sep (Don R. Simons); 
in Louisiana, one was at Oak Grove 4 Oct 
(MW). A substantial fall influx of Brown 
Creepers was led off by one record early for 
Craighead, AR 30 Sep (RH), one at L.E 1 Oct 
(JP), one at L. Atalanta, Rogers, Benton 2 Oct 
(MAM, JP), and Louisiana’s 2nd earliest ever 
at Corney L., Claiborne 3 Oct QD); substantial 
numbers pushed s. to the coast by mid-Oct 
(m.ob.). A Carolina Wren at Grand Isle 11 
Sep+ (PAW, DPM) may have been the same 
individual reported the previous spring. Win- 
ter Wrens at L.E 7 Oct (MAM) and near St. 
Gabriel 13 Oct QVR) were relatively early; 12 
at the latter location 31 Oct OVR) may have 
represented a pulse of migrants, but relatively 
high densities remained in the area through 
the end of the period. A Sedge Wren in St. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


103 


ARKANSAS & LOUISIANA 


Tammany 28 Sep (GO) was very early for se. 
Louisiana. Providing additional circumstan- 
tial evidence of breeding on the cen. 
Louisiana barrier islands, 3 singing Marsh 
Wrens were at Whiskey 1. 4 Aug (SWC); one 
at L.L 6 Sep (MAM, JP) and one in Bossier 19 
Sep (TD) were very early migrants. The van- 
guard of a substantial Golden-crowned 
Kinglet influx included one at L. Atalanta 2 
Oct Ok MAM), 2 at C.N.P 3 Oct (DB), one at 
Grand Isle 9 Oct (DBo), and 2 at Oak Grove 
13 Oct (DBo). A Ruby-crowned Kinglet was 
quite early for New Orleans 25 Sep (MMe et 
ah); interestingly, a fair number of earlier oc- 
currences have been recorded on the immedi- 
ate coast. A Swainsons Thrush at L.E 1 Nov 
QCN) was the latest ever for Arkansas. Thir- 
ty-one Wood Thrushes at Pearl River W.M.A. 
8 Oct (GO et al.) was one of the highest 
Louisiana fall counts on record. An American 
Robin at Grand Isle 25 Sep (DBo) could have 
been an early migrant or post-breeding dis- 
perser but also could conceivably have been 
the same bird seen there as late as 16 May 
2010. A juv. Northern Mockingbird at 
E.G.T.l. 25 Aug (SWC) was probably a post- 
breeding disperser. Always a prize discovery 
in Louisiana, 2 Sage Thrashers visited 
Catneivn; the hrst, at Sabine N.W.R. 22-23 Oct 
(RB, ph. TE et ah), represented Louisiana’s 
5th (and earliest) fall occurrence, and the oth- 
er was seen briefly at Hackberry Ridge 30 Oct 
(ph. PEC). A Cedar Waxwing at Grand Isle 26 
Oct (AK) was apparently record early for the 
immediate coast of se. Louisiana. 

WARBLERS 

Adding to the many other quality birds at 
Grand Isle this fall was a Brewster’s Warbler 3 
Oct (ph. MMS). A Tennessee Warbler near St. 
Gabriel 5-27 Nov QVR) was very late, espe- 
cially for the interior. A Nashville Warbler at 
Grand Isle 29 Sep, and 2 there on 10 Oct 
(DPM), were fairly unusual for se. Louisiana; 
one near Johnsons Bayou 7 Nov (DBo) was 
relatively late. Also relatively late, at least for 
the far interior, was a Northern Pamla at L. 
Atalanta 23 Oct (MAM, JP). Up to 8-10 Black- 
throated Blue Warblers reported from the 
coast made for an excellent fall for this typi- 
cally rare migrant. Most notable was an early 
female at Grand Isle 11 Sep (DPM, vt. PAW) 
and a very late male at B.R.A.S.S. 14 Nov (vt. 
PAW, DPM et ah); an even rarer inland mi- 
grant was found at C.ER 27 Sep (ph. RH). Two 
very rare Audubon’s Warblers included one at 
Grand Isle 9-10 Oct (ph. DBo, vt. PAW, DPM) 
and another at Hackberry Ridge 30 Oct 
(PEC). A Black-throated Gray Warbler at 
Grand Isle 20 Oct (AK, vt. MMS, DBo) was the 
2nd ever for this heavily covered coastal mi- 


grant trap. A male Townsend’s Warbler at 
B.R.A.S.S. 20 Sep (ph. DP) represented the 
2nd fall occurrence supported by hard evi- 
dence; amazingly, another was at Grand Isle 
11-12 Oct (p.a.; JHi, AK). These are only the 
3rd and 4th fall occurrences for Louisiana. A 
Yellow-throated Warbler at Mt. Sequoyah near 
Eayetteville 11 Oct (MAM) was late for nw. 
Arkansas. Providing early migration data 
points away from breeding habitat were 
Prairie Warblers at Whiskey 1. 4 Aug (ph. 
SWC) and at Baton Rouge 6 Aug (BJO). Sel- 
dom reported in Arkansas, a Yellow Palm War- 
bler was at Eayetteville 13-27 Nov (MAM); a 
member of the more regularly occurring nom- 
inate subspecies there 25 Sep (MAM) was also 
noteworthy and relatively early. A Bay-breast- 
ed Warbler at Grand Isle 25 Sep (DBo) was 
early and was the only report of this increas- 
ingly scarce fall migrant. Seldom detected on 
the coast during fall migration, a Swainson’s 
Warbler was spied at Grand Isle 29 Aug (PAW, 
DPM). "Very late for the n. interior was a 
Kentucky Warbler at Black Bayou Lake 
N.W.R. 3 Oct (SLP). A Mourning Warbler at L. 
Atalanta 15 Aug (MAM, JP) established a new 
early fall date for Arkansas. A Hooded Warbler 
near St. Gabriel 31 Oct QVR) was late for the 
s. interior, and an even later individual in the 
same neighborhood 12 Nov+ (SWC, ph. DLD) 
was more likely attempting to winter. A Cana- 
da Warbler at Mt. Sequoyah 19 Aug (MAM) 
was apparently record early for Arkansas, and 
one at Grand Isle 9 Oct (DBo) was relatively 
late, especially for the se. coast. A surprisingly 
rare migrant on the se. coast, Yellow-breasted 
Chat was found at Grand Isle 2 & 20 Oct 
(DBo), the latter possibly record late for a se. 
Louisiana transient. 

SPARROWS THROUGH FINCHES 

Rare Arkansas Clay-colored Sparrows includ- 
ed one at Millwood L., Little River 4 Oct (CM) 
and singles in the Eayetteville area 13 & 14 
Nov (MAM); Clay-coloreds on the se. coast, 
where also quite rare, included singles at 
Grand Isle 2 Oct (ph. MMS) and E.G.T.L 7 
Oct (SWC, ph. DLD); individuals at Willow 
L, e. of Cameron 7 Nov (DBo) and at 
B.R.A.S.S. 18 Nov (ph. DBo) were late. An 
early migrant Lark Sparrow at Lacombe, St. 
Tammany 25 Aug (ph. MMe et al.) was a good 
bird for the “Elorida Parishes” n. of L. 
Pontchartrain. A Grasshopper Sparrow near 
Conway 26 Nov (PM, KH) was another possi- 
ble hrst for Faulkner. A Henslow’s Sparrow at 
B.S.N.W.R. 17 Oct (vt. PAW) was early and 
added to mounting evidence that the species 
regularly occurs away from its “traditional” 
pine savanna grassland habitat. Sixty-three Le 
Conte’s Sparrows flushed during a Yellow Rail 


search at Red River N.W.R., Caddo QD. TD) 
established a new Louisiana high count. Rare 
inland sightings of Nelson’s Sparrows includ- 
ed one relatively early at Holla Bend N.W.R. 

26 Sep (LA) and one in Benton 10 Oct (ph. 
JCN, ph. JBr); small numbers were also once 
again reported in rice helds near Thornwell, 
with at least 10 seen 5 Nov and 2 observed 19 
Nov (SWC, DLD). A Harris’s Sparrow at 
E.G.T.L 30 Oct (ph. Scott McConnell) was 
very early and highly unusual for the se. 
Louisiana coast; one at B.R.A.S.S. 7 Nov (ph. 
DBo) was also relatively early on the sw. coast. 
A Pox Sparrow at L. Claiborne 16 Oct QD) 
was record early for Louisiana. Also early 
were a Song Sparrow at Holla Bend N.W.R. 23 
Sep (LA), a Lincoln’s Sparrow at Bossier City 
19 Sep (almost record early for Louisiana; 
TD), and another Lincoln’s at Holla Bend 
N.W.R. 26 Sep (close to record early for 
Arkansas; LA). More early sparrows included 
Louisiana’s 4th earliest White-throated at Ba- 
ton Rouge 2 Oct (EIJ) and the state’s earliest 
Dark-eyed Junco ever at Covington 1-2 Oct 
(ph. TT); another Dark-eyed Junco at W.W.P. 
29 Sep (MAM) was also very early for 
Arkansas and was possibly the state’s first Sep 
occurrence, although there are several Aug 
records from the 1990s. 

Straggling Summer Tanagers were reported 
from Harahan, Jefferson, LA 13 Nov (GO et 
al.) and Lorance Creek N.A., Pulaski, AR 27 
Nov (Devin Moon). Generally rarer in fall ver- 
sus spring, a Western Tanager at New Orleans 

27 Nov (ph. DPM) was the only one reported. 
A Northern Cardinal family that included a 
begging fledgling in Boone, AR 9 Oct (Sheree 
& Hank Rogers) provided evidence of very 
late breeding in n. Arkansas. A Rose-breasted 
Grosbeak at L. Atalanta 4 Sep (MAM, JP) 
ranked as one of the earliest fall occurrences 
ever for Arkansas. Exceptionally cooperative 
for a fall migrant, an imm. male Black-headed 
Grosbeak posed at B.R.A.S.S. 29-31 Oct (ph. 
MJM, m.ob.); another, this one an ad. male, 
put in a brief appearance at Buller, n. of Iowa, 
Calcasieu 25 Nov (ph. Gene Barnett). A Blue 
Grosbeak at W.W.P. 10 Oct (MAM) would ap- 
pear to represent the latest fall transient ever 
for Arkansas, although there are previous oc- 
currences involving numbers remaining until 
9 Oct; one was also relatively late on the coast 
at B.R.A.S.S. 18 Nov (DBo). Two Indigo 
Buntings at Port Eourchon 8 Sep (SWC, DLD) 
were quite early for coastal migrants. 

A Bobolink at Bonnet Carre Spillway 20 
Nov (RS, MW, ph. HH) was the only one re- 
ported and provided Louisiana with a new late 
fall date for this rare fall migrant. An above-av- 
erage dose of 13 Yellow-headed Blackbirds 
across s. Louisiana was highlighted by rela- 


104 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


ARKANSAS & LOUISIANA 


lively early (for sw. Louisiana) individuals in 
Vermilion 21 Sep OVH) and near Thornwell 26 
Sep (PEC, DP). After relatively few were pres- 
ent during the summer, 150 Great-tailed 
Crackles in Benton 24 Aug QCN) was consid- 
ered an influx of post-breeders or migrants 
from outside the area. More evidence that 
Bronzed Cowbirds are doing quite well in se. 
Louisiana came in the form of flocks of 200 at 
Chauvin, Terrebonne 15 Oct (DBo) and 60 at 
Venice 22 Oct (AK). An ad. male Bullock’s 
Oriole at Metairie, JejfJerson 15 Sep (NLN) was 
just short of record early for Louisiana. A 
House Finch at Grand Isle 10 Oct (DPM) pro- 
vided one of very few occurrences for the im- 
mediate se. coast. Two Red Crossbills at Ozark 
N.F., Pope 29 Oct (LA) were in an area where 
the species appears to be regular in very low 
densities. A worn female American Goldfinch 


at Paulina 26 Aug (ph. Celeste Louque) was 
probably best classified as a very early post- 
breeding disperser. Several somewhat later re- 
ports, including birds at D’Arbonne N.W.R., 
Ouachita 20 Sep (SLP) and 1 Oct Qoan Brown, 
SLP) and at West Monroe 3 Oct Qames Nel- 
son), more likely pertained to fall migrants, all 
of which tied or broke early records for n. 
Louisiana; additional relatively early migrants 
included 2 at Black Bayou N.W.R. 10 Oct 
(William Matthews) and one at Colquitt, Clai- 
borne 17 Oct QD). 

Initialed observers (subregional editors in 
boldface): Leif Anderson, Robby Bacon, Dick 
Baxter, James W. Beck, Devin Bosler (DBo), 
Jacque Brown O^r), Steven W. Cardiff 
(Louisiana), Paul E. Conover, John Coons, 
Terry Davis, John Dillon, Donna L. Dittmann, 


Tom Finnie, Justin Hite QHi), Hans Hol- 
brook, Karen Holliday, Ron Howard, Jay V. 
Huner OVH), Erik 1. Johnson, Alan Kneidel, 
Daniel F. Lane, James M. Maley, Patty 
McLean, Mary Mehaffey (MMe), Charles 
Mills, Michael A. Mlodinow, David P. Muth, 
Michael J. Musumeche, B. Mac Myers, Joseph 
C. Neal (Arkansas), Nancy L. Newfield, Ken- 
ny Nichols, LaDonna Nichols, Brian J. 
O’Shea, Glenn Ousset, Stephen L. Pagans, 
joanie Patterson, Dave Patton, Mitchell 
Pruitt, R. D. Purrington, J. V. Remsen, Jr., An- 
drew Scaboo, Ron Stein, M. Mark Swan, Ryan 
Terrill, Jean Trahan, Jeff Trahan O^T), Tom 
Trenchard, Phillip A. Wallace, Melvin Weber, 
Stefan Woltman. 


Steven W. Cardiff, 435 Pecan Drive 

St. Gabriel, Louisiana 70776, (scardif@gmail.com) 


Northern Canada & Greenland 


SREENLAND 
(laLAAmTNUNAAT) 



Cameron D. Eckert 


W' 


at a season! Birders across the Re- 
gion turned up a mind-boggling 
assortment of rarities, as well as 
some impressive numbers of our more com- 
mon species. Nunavut’s Baffin Island region 
experienced a warm, late fall, and tempera- 
tures were above normal for much of the fall 
period in Northwest Territories as well, par- 
ticularly late October and early November. 
However, temperatures plunged across the 
Region in late November with the onset of 
winter. An early snowfall in mid-October 
across much of the Mackenzie Valley stayed 
on the ground. 


WATERFOWL THROUGH 
SHOREBiRDS 

Fall migration watches (24 Jul-23 
Oct) at Teslin Lake Banding Sta- 
tion, s. Yukon recorded a total of 
9439 geese including 8060 Greater 
White-fronted, 188 Snow, 830 
Canada, a Tundra/Taiga Bean- 
Goose 18 Oct (tJJ), and 361 
unidentified geese OJ, BeS et al). A 
southbound fiock of 45 Greater 
White-fronted Geese passed over 
Rabbitkettle L., Nahanni N.P., 
NWT 30 Aug (DT, JZ, AR, JBy). 
Thirty Snow Geese were seen over 
Ft. Simpson, NWT 13 Oct (NL). A 
flock of 212 Brant migrated west- 
ward past Herschel L, n. Yukon 25 
Aug (CE, JJ). Five Cackling Geese, 
the Yukon’s first fall record for the species, 
were among 57 Canada Geese in Whitehorse 
11 Oct (ph. CE). An impressive 3000 Canada 
Geese were at Nisutlin R. delta, s. Yukon 17 
Sep (CE, JJ). Swans were recorded in good 
numbers during fall migration watches at Tes- 
lin L., s. Yukon; on 17 Oct, 1770 unidentified, 
1063 Trumpeter, and 8183 Tundra Swans 
were recorded, one of the latter a Bewick’s 
Swan (ph. JJ, BeS et al). A pair of Trumpeter 
Swans with 2 juvs. lingered at Yohin L., Na- 
hanni N.P., NWT 21 Oct (JZ). Trumpeter 
Swan surveys, carried out in sw. Northwest 
Territories in late Aug every five years, found 
that numbers have remained high during the 
past decade, as compared to lower numbers in 


1980s and 1990s (MK). Tundra Swan migra- 
tion in the North generally peaks in early to 
mid-Oct; migrating Tundras were heard over- 
head on the evening of 12 Oct at Willowlake 
R., NWT (DT, SC); about 600 swans, likely 
Tundra, were counted over the s. end of L. 
Laberge, s. Yukon 19 Oct (GW, MW). 

Eurasian Wigeon is a fairly common s. 
Yukon spring migrant but rarely seen in fall; 
one in Whitehorse 11 Oct (CE) provided the 
season’s only report. A flock of 3000 Mallards 
was taking advantage of the rich feeding 
ground at Nisutlin R. delta, s. Yukon 3 Oct 
(CE, JJ). The season’s waterfowl high counts 
from the Whitehorse sewage ponds, s. Yukon 
included 400 Gadwalls 11 Oct (CE); 3000- 
3500 American Wigeons 3-11 Oct (DY; CE); 
800 Mallards 11-19 Oct (CE); 800 Northern 
Shovelers 3 Oct (DY); 400 Buffleheads 18 Aug 
(HG); and 130 Ruddy Ducks 2 Oct (HG). Mi- 
gration counts from Pauline Cove on Her- 
schel L, n. Yukon recorded 328 King Eiders 
and 234 Pacific Loons, all westbound, 24-25 
Aug (CE, JJ). Two ad. male Hooded Mer- 
gansers, rare in Northwest Territories, were 
on a pond e. of Hay River 1 Oct (ph. GV); an- 
other 3 males were seen n. of Ft. Simpson, 
NWT 13 Oct (DT, SC). 

Grouse populations in Northwest Territo- 
ries generally fared well during the summer 
and fall seasons. Ruffed Grouse numbers 
seemed fairly high in the Dehcho region (DT, 
NL), and singles were seen at the n. edge of 
the species’ range in Norman Wells 12 Oct 
and 28 Nov (RPo). Very high numbers of 


VOLUME 65 (2011) 


NUMBER 1 


105 


NORTHERN CANADA & GREENLAND 



This adult male Lark Bunting, the first for Northern Canada, was nicely 
documented at a fire tower near Rancheria, southeastern Yukon 29-30 
(here 29) June 201 0. Photograph by Markus Lenzin. 


Spruce Grouse were observed along the 
Mackenzie Hwy. w. of Ft. Simpson in fall (NL, 
JZ). The fall arrival of Willow Ptarmigan in 
the Mackenzie Valley and Yellowknife was re- 
portedly near normal in timing and numbers 
(RPo, CM). Rock Ptarmigan in the s. Macken- 
zie Mts., NWT were more common this year 
in late summer and early fall than during the 
past several years (CL). Sharp-tailed Grouse 
numbers in the Norman Wells area were also 
up (RPo). Ptarmigan reports from elsewhere 
in the Region included 4 Willow and 9 White- 
tailed Ptarmigan at 1410 m along the Donjek 
R., sw. Yukon 10 Oct (TS). Ten Red-throated 
Loons were at March L., near Arctic Bay, NU 
7 Aug (CK), and a pair of Pacific Loons that 
nested unsuccessfully there was last seen 14 
Sep (CK). An ad. Yellow-billed Loon was seen 
at Lower Dead Dog L., NU 9 Aug (CK, TK); 
another was at Herschel L, n. Yukon 25 Aug 
(CE, JJ). An unprecedented fallout of Yellow- 
billed Loons in s. Yukon from early Oct 
through Nov included reports from most of 
the large lakes and rivers; a flock of 4 was no- 
table at Army Beach, Marsh L., s. Yukon 24 
Oct (BD, CE, JJ). Marsh L. also hosts the Re- 
gions highest numbers of grebes during fall 
migration; counts this season included 150 
Horneds 24 & 26 Oct (BD, CE, JJ) and 178 
Red-neckeds 21 Sep OJ)- 

A trip to Baillarge Bay, NU 4 Sep produced 
a count of 200 Northern Eulmars (CK). Six 
American White Pelicans spent most of the 
summer at Trout L., NWT, several hundred 
km w. of their nearest known breeding site at 
Ft. Smith (DD). A juv. American Bittern, ca- 
sual in Northwest Territories, was observed 
near Raven Fire Tower, Wood Buffalo N.P. at 
km 116 of Flwy. 5 on 17 Sep (vt. TT). A Dou- 
ble-crested Cormorant, rare in s. Yukon, was 


at Bove 1. on Tagish L. from late Jul 
through 16 Aug OBo). It’s not clear 
how many individuals were in- 
volved in a spate of Great Blue 
Heron reports from the Yukon 
Southern Lakes area. One at Car- 
cross 15 Aug (ph. JCR) was subse- 
quently found dead 20 Aug (LK); 
other singles were at McIntyre Cr. 
16 Aug (MB) and Whitehorse fish 
ladder 23 Aug (ph. PD); and 2 were 
at Tagish 27 Aug (RS, MVD, ph. 
SVD). An ad. Bald Eagle and a juv. 
Golden Eagle were both at the re- 
mains of a Snowshoe Hare s. of N’d- 
ulee Crossing 13 Oct, though tracks 
and wing prints did not indicate 
which bird had made the kill (DT, 
SC). A Bald Eagle with red and 
green patagial tags was seen on the 
Petitot R. near the Northwest Terri- 
tories/British Columbia border 30 Sep (ET), 
but the source of the markers has yet to be de- 
termined. Two late Bald Eagles were at Hay 
River, NWT through 17 Nov (GV). Herschel 
L, n. Yukon saw two new raptor species this 
season, a female Sharp-shinned Hawk 24 Aug 
(ph. CE, JJ, MSm) and an American Kestrel 9- 
10 Aug (ph. LJM, SM); the latter was found 
dead later in the month O^H). A bold North- 
ern Goshawk took a Red Squirrel from a Ft. 
Simpson, NWT yard in late Nov (WD). A late 
migrant Golden Eagle was spotted at Carca- 
jou R., NWT 3 Nov (RPo). An ad. male Mer- 
lin seen flying over the ocean off ne. Green- 
land 21 Sep (TL, BM) did not appear to be 
one of the North American subspecies and 
could have been from the Old World. The 
five-year Peregrine Falcon survey along the 
Mackenzie R., NWT found a record high 75 
occupied nest sites this summer (KH), pro- 
viding more evidence of the continued recov- 
ery of this species in the Region. A juv. Pere- 
grine Falcon was seen harassing ravens and 
gulls along the Mackenzie R. in Ft. Simpson, 
NWT 26 Aug (DT). 

Unusual in sw. Yukon was a Rock of about 
200 Sandhill Cranes over Haines Junction 28 
Sep OBa)- Two ad. Sandhill Cranes accompa- 
nied by a juv. lingered at Hay River, NWT 14- 
29 Oct (GV). Whooping Cranes had a pro- 
ductive season at their Wood Buffalo N.P., 
NWT breeding grounds, with 46 chicks 
fledged, including five broods with 2 colts; 
this was the highest count since the record of 
49 fledglings in 2006 (RK). Noteworthy 
shorebirds at Herschel L, n. Yukon included 
single juv. Western Sandpipers 14 & 21 Aug; 
a juv. White-rumped Sandpiper 21 Aug; and 
a juv. Red Phalarope among 37 Red-necked 
Phalaropes along Avadlek Spit 18 Aug (ph. 


CE, JJ). Bird surveys in the West Kitikmeot 
region, sw. of Bathurst Inlet, NU 1-10 Aug 
had the following one-day high counts of 
shorebirds: 25 Semipalmated Plovers 10 Aug, 
60 Semipalmated Sandpipers 10 Aug, 40 
Least Sandpipers 10 Aug, 4 Pectoral Sand- 
pipers 10 Aug, and 36 Red-necked 
Phalaropes 8 Aug (ED). Three Ruddy Turn- 
stones were at Uluksa Pt., NU 8 Aug (CK, 
TK). The shorebird season in Whitehorse, s. 
Yukon closed with a juv. Sharp-tailed Sand- 
piper 16-17 Oct (ph. CE); 3 juv. Pectoral 
Sandpipers 19 Oct (CE); up to 2 Dunlins 11- 
19 Oct (ph. CE); 4 Wilson’s Snipe 5 Nov 
QiH); and an ad. Spotted Sandpiper 14-15 
Nov (PS; ph. CE) that was the latest fall 
shorebird ever recorded in the Yukon. 

GULLS THROUGH FINCHES 

A Long-tailed Jaeger, unusual in s. interior 
Northwest Territories, was seen flying north- 
ward past Ft. Simpson 27 Aug (DT). A juv. Lit- 
tle Gull at Teslin L. 15-16 Oct (ph. JJ) estab- 
lished the Yukon’s first fall record. Open water 
on Frobisher Bay at Iqaluit, NU allowed at 
least 20 Glaucous Gulls to stay right through 
the end of the period (MM). A small incursion 
of California Gulls was noted in s. Yukon, with 
a high count of 4 at Teslin L. 15 Oct (ph. JJ) 
and one in Whitehorse 15-23 Oct (ph. CE). A 
flock of 8 Black-legged Kittiwakes, casual in 
the Yukon, was following a boat about 10 km 
ne. of Herschel L, n. Yukon 25 Aug (ph. JeH, 
EM); a flock of 7 was seen from the USCG 
Cutter Healy, taking part in the International 
Continental Shelf Survey, about 200 km nw. of 
Banks L, NWT 1 Sep QD, BiS); and a lone ad. 
was seen on Teslin L., s. Yukon 25 Sep OJ)- An 
ad. Ross’s Gull, a first for s. Yukon, was seen 
on Marsh L. 23 Oct (tJJ), coinciding vrith a 
large movement at Pt. Barrow, AK and a sub- 
sequent smattering of records to the south. 
Thick-billed Murre had not been reported in 
the Yukon for nearly 20 years, and so 10 indi- 
viduals flying westward past Herschel 1. 24-25 
Aug (CE, ph. JJ) made an exciting report. 
Black Guillemot monitoring on Herschel 1. 
recorded 59 ads. and a total of 21 nests that 
produced 29 surviving chicks (CE, JeH, LJM, 
EM, SM); it seems likely that the additional 5 
chicks found dead at the colony succumbed 
when ads. were unable to feed them during a 
severe storm in early Aug. A total of 3 1 Black 
Guillemots was recorded at Baillarge Bay, NU 
4 Sep (CK). 

A Mourning Dove was seen in Yel- 
lowknife, NWT for several days in Jul 0K)i 
another (or perhaps the same bird?) was 
there 7 Nov (KA). An ad. Snowy Owl was 
seen at Herschel 1. 18 Aug (CE, JeH,JJ, EM); 
another was at Norman Wells, NWT 27 Nov 


106 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


NORTHERN CANADA & GREENLAND 


(WH); and 2 juvs. in Ft. Simpson, NWT 27 
Oct-10 Nov (TB, SC, AD, JZ) made a rare 
sight in the heavily forested s. Mackenzie 
Valley, where one was flushed from the re- 
mains of another Snowy Owl (SG, TH). 
Northern Hawk Owls, all singles, were re- 
ported from Burwash, sw. Yukon 7 Oct (IS), 
Willowlake R,, NWT 12 Oct (DT, SC), Wat- 
son L., se. Yukon 11 Nov (SD), Norman 
Wells, NWT 12 Nov (RPo), Nahanni Butte, 
NWT 14-19 Nov (GT, RV, DT), and Oscar 
Cr., NWT 23 Nov (RPo) A Great Gray Owl 
was seen about 22 km n. of Watson Lake 11 
Nov (SD). The Yukon’s first and Canada’s 
4th Lesser Nighthawk, a juv. female, was a 
stunning discovery in Whitehorse 25 Oct 
(ph. SJ, RW). Peter Pyle conducted a de- 
tailed comparison of the photograph to mu- 
seum specimens and ruled out the possibili- 
ty that the bird was one of the similar Com- 
mon Nighthawk subspecies (i.e., Chordeiles 
minor howelli). Up to 40 Common Night- 
hawks were seen aerial foraging along the 
Alaska Hwy. between Pelly Crossing and 
Steward Crossing, cen. Yukon 16 Aug (HW). 
The highlight of the season at the Teslin 
Lake Banding Station, s. Yukon was a Fork- 
tailed Swift, a first for mainland North 
America, seen flying northward 28 Sep (tJJ). 
A Rufous Hummingbird, casual in North- 
west Territories, was seen briefly in Hay Riv- 
er 22 Aug (BG). Pileated Woodpeckers are 
uncommon in sw. Northwest Territories; 
singles were seen on the Jean Marie R. ac- 
cess road 13 Aug (SG), the Liard R. ferry 
crossing 17 & 26 Sep (DT, MH), at km 507 
of the Mackenzie Htvy. 13 Oct (DT, SC), and 
at Ft. Simpson 21 Oct (BV). 

Three Cliff Swallows, casual on Herschel 
L, were seen flying along Collinson Head 16 
Aug (CE). Two Northern Wheatears were 
noted at Uluksa Pt., NU 8 Aug (CK, TK). An 
impressive 40 Mountain Bluebirds were tal- 
lied at the Rodeo Grounds along the N. 
Klondike Hwy., near Whitehorse 29 Sep (BD, 
HG). Lone American Robins lingered 
through 5 Nov in Ft. Simpson, NWT (DT) 
and 7 Nov in Yellowknife, NWT OC, VC). 


Several American Dippers were seen along 
Prairie Cr., Nahanni N.P., NWT 14-15 Oct 
(MSu). Two late European Starlings showed 
up at a Ft. Simpson, NWT feeder 4-5 Nov 
(DT, LM, MH). Cedar Waxwings staged a 
pronounced invasion across s. Yukon and 
Northwest Territories this past summer, with 
larger flocks being seen in fall; a small flock 
in Yellowknife, NWT in Aug and early Sep 
provided just the 3rd local record, including 
a window-strike casualty 13 Aug (RPa, ph. 
DP). It was a banner year for Cedar 
Waxwings in the Dehcho region of North- 
west Territories, with observations of up to 
40 in a flock, including many juvs., at Ft. 
Simpson 8 Sep (DT, LM). Several were re- 
ported at Partridge Cr., cen. Yukon (DB, VB), 
well past the nw. edge of the species’ range. 
Flocks of Bohemian Waxwings numbering 
upwards of 1000 birds were scouring the 
Mountain Ash trees in Whitehorse, s. Yukon 
through Nov (m.ob.). Banders at Teslin L., s. 
Yukon did not detect a major southbound 
movement of Boreal Chickadees this year 
(fide BeS); however, sizable flocks were ob- 
served elsewhere, including about 30 along 
the Donjek R. in sw. Yukon 7 Oct (TS) and 20 
at Wolf Cr., Whitehorse 10 Oct OiH). 

An Audubon’s Warbler, casual in fall in s. 
Yukon, was at Teslin L. 10 Oct (ph. JJ). The 
Yukon’s first Lark Bunting, an ad. male, was 
nicely documented at a fire tower near 
Rancheria 29-30 jun (ph. ML). A lone Song 
Sparrow endured the cold and snow in Ft. 
Simpson, NWT by foraging among gardens 
and at feeders through the end of the period 
(DT, MH). An ad. Harris’s Sparrow seen dai- 
ly at Herschel I. 14-26 Aug (ph. CE, JJ) estab- 
lished the Yukon’s 3rd (and the island’s 2nd) 
well-documented record. A meadowlark, 
likely a Western (a species casual in the Beau- 
fort Sea region), flushed and disappeared into 
the rolling tundra on Collinson Head at Her- 
schel I. 18 Aug (tCE). A late Common Crack- 
le frequented a Et. Simpson, NWT feeder dur- 
ing the last week of Oct (SH). 

Greenland’s first Common Rosefinch was 
seen as it landed on a seismic ship about 202 


km e. of land at about 78° N latitude 10 Sep 
(ph. TL, BM). A male House Finch, casual in s. 
Yukon, was in Whitehorse 27-28 Nov (LC, ph. 
CE). A flock of 12 Hoary Redpolls was at Mar- 
cil L., NU 23 Oct (CK, TK). Evening Grosbeak 
seems to have become increasingly scarce in 
se. Yukon but remains relatively regular in s. 
Northwest Territories; a flock of 11 was seen at 
Ft. Simpson, NWT 12 Nov (DT, MH, LM). 
Pine Grosbeaks moved into the lower eleva- 
tions of the Mackenzie Valley, NWT, as is usu- 
al in mid-Oct, with groups up to 10 seen s. of 
Willowlake R. 13 Oct (DT, SC). 

Observers (subregional editors in boldface): 
Krista Amey Michael Bendall, Julie Bauer 
(JBa), Del Berguie, Virginia Berguie, Jim 
Borisenko Oho), Tracy Brown, Justin Byatt 
QBy), Linda Cameron, Scott Cameron, Jason 
Charlwood, Vanessa Charlwood, Janet Con- 
stable Rushant QCk)! P^ul Davis, Eric De- 
mers, Dennis Deneron, Wilson Dimsdale, 
Boris Dobrowolsky Aaron Donohue, Susan 
Drury, Jim Ducey Cameron Eckert, Steve 
Gooderham, Bruce Green, Helmut Grtinberg, 
Mary-Ann Hannaford, Jeremy Hansen 0eH)> 
Jim Hawkings (JiH), Sharon Herring, Wes 
Hodgson, Keith Hodson, Tanya Hurst, Jukka 
Jantunen, Shannon Jenner, Jo Kelly, Leslie 
Kerr, Rhona Kindopp, Clare Kines, Travis 
Kines, Mike Klazek, Clay Lancaster, Tony 
Lang, Nic Larter, Markus Lenzin, Craig Mach- 
tans, Bruce Mactavish, Mark Mallory, Edward 
McLeod, Sam McLeod, Leejohn Meyook, Lisa 
Moore, Damian Panayi, Rae Panayi (RPa), 
Richard Popko (RPo), Anthony Roche, Bill 
Schmoker (BiS), Ben Schonewille (BeS), Pam 
Sinclair, Terry Skjonsberg, Merran Smith 
(MSm), Rene Smith, Mike Suitor (MSu), Dou- 
glas Tate (Northwest Territories), Ernest 
Timbre, George Tsetso, Tony Trudeau, Moya 
van Delft, Shyloh van Delft, Benoit Vaudry, 
Gary Vizniowski, Robert Vital, Randy Wagn- 
er, Hilary Wilkinson, Gerry Whitley, Mary 
Whitley, Devon Yacura, Jackie Zinger. (© 


Cameron D, Eckert, 1402 Elm Street 

Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1 A 4B6, (cdeckert@northwestel.net) 


Visit the American Birding Association website 

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2American Birding” 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


107 


Prairie Provinces 



Rudolf F. Koes 
Peter Taylor 

A generally mild, extended fall ended 
abruptly when winter swept across the 
Region from west to east, f5-f8 No- 
vember. Many water birds were accompanied 
by downy young well into August. Early 
shorebird migration produced a good August 
wave in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Overall, 
passerine migration was early and lackluster 
in Manitoba and average at best in Saskatche- 
wan, but better than average, continuing late, 
and with evidence of good productivity in Al- 
berta. The prevailing mild conditions no 
doubt prolonged the lives of some exception- 
al southern vagrants. 

WATERFOWL 
THROUGH SHOREBIRDS 

Impressive waterfowl counts at Whitewater 
L., MB 17 Oct included 200,000 Snow Geese 
(CC, B.N.S.). Two hundred Brant was a high 
count on the Hudson Bay coast e. of 
Churchill, MB 12 Oct (KB, fide BC). Canada 
Geese staged a conspicuous mass departure 
from s. Manitoba in advance of major snow- 
falls 17 Nov (m.ob.). Six hundred Trumpeter 
Swans at Frank L., AB 2 Nov (CH, IH) must 
have made an impressive sight and sound. 
Three Eurasian Wigeon reports in Alberta 
were more than usual in fall (fide TK). At least 
3000 Northern Shovelers were at Whitewater 
L 17 Oct (CC, B.N.S.). A season total of about 
40 White-winged Scoters in the Calgary, AB 
area included 19 at Eagle L. 26 Sep (RWo); 
otherwise, reports of sea ducks were scattered 
and numbers rather low. 

A Pacihc Loon visited Regina Beach, SK 6 
Nov (BE), a high count of 148 Common 
Loons was noted at Simonhouse L., MB 3 Oct 
(DR), and a Yellow-billed Loon graced dead- 
calm Cold L., AB 6 Nov (RK, TH), Single 
Great Egrets were noted at Wadena, SK 8 Aug 
(KK), Balzac, AB 21 Aug (GLi, DBu), Last 
Mountain L., SK 22 Aug (AS, DG), and Beau- 
mont, AB 11 Sep (fide GR), while one at 
Frank L. 11-21 Nov (GW et al.) was excep- 
tionally late. Two Snowy Egrets were at 


Whitewater L. 3 Aug (RKo, FT), at least 4 
Cattle Egrets were at Last Mountain L. 22 
Aug-5 Sep (AS, DG et al, fide GK), and 70 
Cattles were in the Whitewater L. area 9 Oct 
(RKo, MN). Multiple sightings of Green 
Herons at a golf course in Steinbach, MB 16- 
27 Aug included discovery of 4 recently 
fledged juvs. 19 Aug for Manitoba’s 2nd con- 
firmed breeding record. 

In the 8th summer of a planned 10-year program 
coordinated by Stuart Houston, volunteers tagged 
144 nestling Turkey Vultures in 83 deserted buildings in 
Saskatchewan, bringing the project total to 622 nestlings 
tagged in 360 nests. Anyone seeing a wing-tagged vul- 
ture, please report full details to Stuart (stuarkhous- 
ton@usask.ca). 

A hawkwatch at Whytewold, MB yielded 
419 Sharp-shinned and 199 Broad-winged 
hawks 12 Sep (MQ) and an astonishing 816 
Sharp-shinned Hawks in three hours 6 Oct 
(CM), while 579 Sharp-shinneds were seen in 
hve hours al nearby Netley Marsh 6 Oct (GB, 
DDo). An apparent Black Merlin was al 
Carseland, AB 18 Sep (ph. TK). An extraordi- 
nary concentration of Whooping Cranes at 
Muskiki L., SK grew from 27 birds 21 Sep to 
a peak of 40 on 2 Oct (LJe, BDL, RD et al.). 

A Pacific Golden-Plover was reported near 
Shepard 15-16 Aug (TK, AB), and a late 
Killdeer was living on the edge 
at The Pas, MB 12 Nov QK). 

Black-necked Stilts at Chaplin 
L, and Reed L., SK included at 
least two family groups (SC, 

SW, MP, JP) and peaked at 16 
birds on 15 Aug (M&LD). A 
fairly late concentration of 125 
American Avocets was noted at 
Whitewater L. 17 Oct (CC, 

B.N.S.). Also at Chaplin L. and 
Reed L., a shorebird concen- 
tration 1 Aug included at least 
1000 American Avocets, 500 
Baird’s Sandpipers, and 3000 
Wilson’s Phalaropes (SC); 180 
Hudsonian Godwits were 
there 3 Aug (BL, JC). Six West- 
ern Sandpipers were reported 
in the Calgary area 6 Aug-6 
Sep (RS, TK). A probable 
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper paused 
briefly at Oak Hammock 
Marsh, MB 19 Aug (RPo, LJ). Purple Sand- 
pipers are regular in late Oct at Gordon Pt. 
near Churchill; this year’s peak count was 45 
on 28 Oct (GL, fide BC). Two Buff-breasted 
Sandpipers visited Shepard 29 Aug-3 Sep 
(TK, m.ob.). 


GULLS THROUGH THRASHERS 

Two juv. Black-legged Kittiwakes at Regina 
Beach 17 Nov provided Saskatchewan’s 4th 
record (BL, DS, vt. SW). Single juv. Sabine’s 
Gulls visited Buck L., SK 13 Sep (BL) and Buf- 
falo Point, MB 17 Oct (LG, VR), while an ad. 
stayed at Glenmore Res., AB 17-22 Sep (AB, 
m.ob.). Single Lesser Black-backed Gulls 
were noted at Reed L. 2 Oct (TK), Heda L, 
MB about 23 Oct (BS, PE), and Shepard 9 Nov 
(TK). An ad. Slaty-backed Gull (or possibly 
Slaty-backed Gull x Herring Gull hybrid) was 
reported in se. Calgary 15 Nov (TK). Partly 
melanistic individuals of two species were 
noted: a Ring-billed Gull near Calgary (ph. 
TK; date unknown) and a Forster’s Tern at 
Grand Beach, MB 26 Aug (PT, RKo). Single 
Parasitic Jaegers appeared at Edmonton, AB 
14 Sep (KH), Trestle Bay, SK 30 Sep (BL), and 
Redberry L., SK 3 Oct (RD), while a probable 
Parasitic was at Frank L. 4 Sep (RB). 

Alberta’s 4th White-winged Dove was de- 
tected at a feeder at Waiparous, near 
Cochrane, 1 Oct and remained into Dec (ph. 
DK), while Manitoba’s 5th pleased many bird- 
ers at Great Falls until the snow flew, 10-17 
Nov (ph. H63:PS, m.ob.). A Yellow-billed 
Cuckoo briefly visited a Saskatoon, SK yard 
18 Sep (ph. C&AS). Peak Common 
Nighthawk counts in Manitoba were 83 seen 
migrating in three hours at Matlock 18 Aug 
(CM) and 240 in one flock near Ste. Anne 20 


Aug (VR); a concentration near Val Marie, SK 
17 Aug included a flock of 50 (DW). Thirty- 
seven Black Swifts were counted at Mt. 
Lorette 12 Sep (PS et al.). A Ruby-throated 
Hummingbird was well n. at Thompson, MB 
2 Sep (RBu). A brownish hummingbird pho- 




Two Black-legged Kittiwakes, one of which is shown here, visited Regina Beach 
on Last Mountain Lake, Saskatchewan 1 7 November 2010. They provided the 

province's fourth record. Image from video by Steven Weir. 


108 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



PRAIRIE PROVINCES 




This Yeilow-billed Cuckoo at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 1 8 September 2010 repre- 
sented about the ninth record for the province but was the first to be substanti- 
ated by photograph. Photograph by Craig Salisbury. 


This male Summer Tanager at Pike Lake, Saskatchewan 3 October 201 0 furnished the fifth record for the 

province. Photograph byJoeStookey. 


Black-throated Blue Warblers are increasingly frequent visitors to Saskatchewan. 
This male was at Hodgeville 22-30 (here 24) October 2010. Photograph byMyrrta 
and Joel Priebe. 


Saskatchewan's second Summer Tanager of fall 2010, and sixth overall, visited a Swift Current feeder for 
about five days in November (here 1 0 November) — part of a sharp increase in records of this species 
across the Prairie Provinces region in recent years. Photograph by Pete McHugh. 


This Townsend's Warbler was found 30 August 2010 at Morse, Saskatchewan; the 
province has about a dozen previous records. Photograph by Lori Wilson. 


tographed at Oak Lake, MB 2 Sep proved to 
be an aberrant Ruby-throated. An Anna’s 
Hummingbird visited a Calgary garden 22-26 
Oct and returned 16 Nov (ph. KL). At least 5 
Red-bellied Woodpeckers were noted across 
s. Manitoba from 15 Oct into Nov (m.ob.), 
while one was more noteworthy at Crooked 
River, SK 1-30 Nov (fide DS). 

A late family group of 2 ad. and 2 imm. 


Great Crested Flycatchers was 
found near Stonewall, MB 3 
Sep (KG). Gray Jays appeared 
at several locations outside the 
boreal forest in se. Manitoba in 
Oct and Nov (m.ob.). A family 
group of Black-billed Magpies 
furnished a northerly breeding 
record at Paint Lake RE, MB 2 
Aug (ph. BT). A Chestnut-backed Chickadee 
was reported in Jasper N.P., AB in early Nov 
(JRo). A Ruby-crowned Kinglet in Winnipeg, 
MB 2 Nov (GB) was unusually late, while a 
Townsend’s Solitaire at Saskatoon 17 Aug (NS) 
was early. A pair of Northern Mockingbirds 
was seen carrying food 21 Aug and later 
fledged at least 2 young at Edmonton (DD, 
GR); one was unexpected near Victoria Beach, 


MB 8 Nov (RP, LV). Manitoba’s 2nd Curve- 
billed Thrasher frequented a dumpster near 
Big Whiteshell L., MB 25 Sep-14 Nov (DB, 
m.ob., ph.), keeping strange company with 
scavenging Gray Jays and Red Squirrels 

WARBLERS THROUGH FINCHES 

Single Northern Pandas were found in Sas- 
katchewan at Saskatoon 17 Aug (NS), Regina 
7 Sep (BL), and Gardiner Dam 25 Oct (RD). 
A Cape May Warbler frequented a well- 
stocked feeder at Pierson, MB through 15 Nov 
(R&MW). Single male Black-throated Blue 
Warblers were noted at Winnipeg 24 Sep 
(RA), Hodgeville, SK 24-30 Oct (MR JP 
m.ob., ph.), and Medicine Hat, AB 3-10 Nov 
(m.ob., Jtde MS); in addition, one was appar- 
ently banded at Beaverhill L., AB and another 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


109 


PRAIRIE PROVINCES 


window-killed in Edmonton (dates un- 
known, /ide GR). A Townsends Warbler visit- 
ed Morse, SK 30 Aug (ph. LW). A Yellow- 
throated Warbler frequented a garden near 
Ste. Anne, MB 18-30 Oct (VJ, CA). A Pine 
Warbler was a noteworthy migrant at Grosse 
Isle, MB 7 Sep (KG). A Hooded Warbler, 
probably an imm. female, was at Inglewood 
Bird Sanctuary, Calgary 27 Aug QR- RWe, 
MW). A female Eastern Towhee visiting a 
Busby, AB feeder (SJ) was confirmed 20 Nov 
(ph. GR). A lone Field Sparrow was at Buffa- 
lo Point 16-19 Oct (LG, VR). 

A very late female Scarlet Tanager 
bizarrely accompanied Snow Buntings on the 
sand at Victoria Beach 8 Nov (RP, LV). A male 
Summer Tanager was found near Saskatoon 3 
Oct (ph. JS, fide SS), and another visited a 
Swift Current, SK feeder for about five days 
around 10 Nov (ph. PM). A Western Tanager 
was at Winnipeg 20 Aug (NB, LC, NSc), while 


one at Medicine Hat 13 Nov (Grasslands Nat- 
uralists) was record late for Alberta. A female 
Northern Cardinal was seen in Calgary 12 
Aug (AP), and as usual there were several 
sightings in s. Manitoba (m.ob.). A late Rose- 
breasted Grosbeak lingered in Winnipeg 
through 1 Dec (DDu, RP, SO). A Rusty Black- 
bird concentration near Ste. Anne peaked at 
1150 birds 22 Oct (VR). 

Observers (subregional compilers in bold- 
face): C. Artuso, R. Austin, R. Barclay, D. Bar- 
ry, A. Borgardt, R. Buchanan (RBu), G. Budyk, 
K. Burke, D. Burritt (DBu), N. Butchard, S. 
Canevet, B. Chartier, L. Cocks, J. Cummings, 

C. Cuthbert, D. Dekker, B. Di Labio, D. Dodg- 
son (DDo), M. & L. Dudragne, R. Dudragne, 

D. Dutchin (DDu), P Friesen, K. Gardner, D. 
Giesbrecht, L. Giesbrecht, 1. Halladay, K. Han- 
nah, T. Hindmarch, C. Hitchon, S. Jaeger, V. 
Jakubek, L. Jansson, L. Jellicoe (LJe),J. Kay- 


er, D. Kingston, R. Klauke, R. Koes (RKo), K. 
Koji, T. Korolyk, G. Kratzig, H. Lane, G. 
LeBaron, G. Linden (GLi), B. Luterbach, K. 
Lybbert, P. McHugh, C. McPherson, S. 
Oikawa, R. Parsons, A. Pelzer, R. Porteous 
(RPo), J. Priebe, M. Priebe, M. Quigley, D. 
Raitt, R. Reimer, V. Reimer, J. Riddell, J. 
Rogers QRo), G. Romanchuk, C. & A. Salis- 
bury, N. Saunders, D. Sawatzky, N. Schmidt 
(NSc), S. Shadick, P. Sherrington, B. Shettler, 
A. Smith, Brandon Naturalists Society 
(B.N.S.), H. & P Softley, M. Spitzer, j. Stookey, 
R. Storms, B. Taylor, P. Taylor, L. Veelma, G. 
Wagner, R. & M. Wang, S. Weir, M. Wershler, 
R. Wershler (RWe), D. Wilkie, L. Wilson, R. 
Worona (RWo). O 


Rudolf F. Koes, 135 Rossmere Crescent 
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2K 0G1, (rkoes@ints.net) 

Peter Taylor, P. 0. Box 597, Pinawa, Manitoba ROE 1 LO 
(taylorp@granite.mb.ca) 


Northern Great Plains 



Ron Martin 


A ugust and September in the Plains 
were characterized by large tempera- 
ture swings and above-average precip- 
itation. October and the first half of Novem- 
ber were dry, with temperatures well above 
average. The 45-day stretch from 24 Septem- 
ber to 7 November at Billings, Montana was 
the warmest on record, with 36 days reaching 
at least 60° F Winter and freeze-up arrived in 
a big way around 20 November, with heavy 
snowfall the rest of the month. 

Overall, migration was once again notably 
poor, with low numbers of many species. 
Southwestern hummingbirds made a splash 
in Montana, and the state saw its first record 
of Winter Wren. In North Dakota, a Yellow- 
billed Loon was found, and a Cassin’s King- 
bird provided a state first. Larids were the big 
story in the Dakotas, especially in South 
Dakota, with sixteen species recorded this 


season. South Dakota chalked up 
its first record of Ross’s Gull, a bird 
that brought visitors from far and 
wide, and second record of Glau- 
cous-winged Gull. 

WATERFOWL 
THROUGH FALCONS 

Now a regular migrant in small 
numbers through North Dakota, 
Trumpeter Swans peaked at 6 at the 
Fargo Lagoons 27 Sep-10 Oct (DWR, KRC). 
The Mottled Duck reported from Marshall, 
SD in the summer season continued until 14 
Aug (RDO.JSP). Rare in fall in the Dakotas, a 
Cinnamon Teal was in Campbell, SD 3 Aug 
(SS), and 2 were seen at the Bowman, ND la- 
goons 18 Sep (REM, CDE). Scoters made a 
less-than-stellar showing. 

Eleven Surf Scoter reports 
spanned 18 Oct-16 Nov, 
with the majority being sin- 
gles. Seven White-winged 
Scoter reports 28 Oct-16 
Nov included a peak of 12 
at Freezout, MT 28 Oct 
(MS). Six reports of 9 Black 
Scoters in the Dakotas 
spanned 31 Oct-30 Nov. A 
notable peak of 3422 Buffie- 
heads was tallied in Ramsey 
and Nelson, ND 7 Nov 
(EEF). Casual in South 


Dakota, a Barrow’s Goldeneye was reported in 
Buffalo 21 Nov (p.a., RDO), and 2 were in 
Brule 28 Nov (p.a., TJ). A new high count for 
North Dakota, 1215 Hooded Mergansers were 
seen 30 Oct in the n.-cen. part of the state 
(REM, CDE). Not established in North Dako- 
ta, Chukar broods and flocks continue to be 
reported from the Bismarck, ND area (fide 
CDE). A flock of 350 Greater Prairie-Chick- 
ens in Lyman, SD 30 Nov must have been 
quite a sight (BU). 

The 8th for South Dakota, a Red-throated 
Loon was in Minnehaha 6-18 Nov (p.a., TJ). 
South Dakota Pacific Loons included an early 
individual in Stanley 3 Oct (p.a., RDO) and 
another in Minnehaha 6-18 Nov (p.a., DC). In 
North Dakota, single Pacific Loons were at 
Upper Souris N.W.R. 7 Nov (p.a., REM) and 



About the eighth record for North Dakota, this Long-tailed Jaeger was at Grand Forks 
26-28 (here 26) August 201 0. Photograph by David Lambeth. 


110 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS 


at Bowman-Haley Res. 13 Nov (p.a., REM, 
CDE, JPL). A new high count for North 
Dakota, 27 Common Loons were on L. 
Audubon 31 Oct (CDE). The peak in Mon- 
tana was at Nelson Res., with 84 counted 29 
Sep (FP). The 3rd report for North Dakota, a 
Yellow-billed Loon was in Grand Forks 14 
Nov (p.a., EEF). Casual in South Dakota, a 
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was in Wal- 
worth 3 Aug (p.a., SS). 

Northern Harriers peaked at 100 in Grand 
Forks, ND 1 Nov (EEF). Only three reports of 
Northern Goshawk were received from the 
Dakotas this season. Casual in South Dakota, 
a Red-shouldered Hawk was in Hand 2 Nov 
(p.a., DB). Furnishing a new high count for 
South Dakota, 587 Broad-winged Hawks were 
in Lincoln 19 Sep (TJ). The peak for Rough- 
legged Hawks was 178 in Grand Forks and 
Walsh, ND 20 Nov (EEF). Six Gyrfalcon re- 
ports in Nov included a dark morph chasing 
a Black-legged Kittiwake at Garrison Dam, 
ND 25 Nov (REM). 

SHOREBIRDS THROUGH JAEGERS 

Continuing from the summer season, Black- 
necked Stilts peaked at 10 in Marshall, SD 28 
Aug (GO). A Lesser Yellowlegs was late at Ft. 
Peck, MT 28 Oct-1 Nov (CC). The 2nd latest 
record for Montana, a Semipalmated Sand- 
piper was at Ft. Peck 9 Oct (CC). A Buff- 
breasted Sandpiper was late in Brookings, SD 
23 Oct QSP). A peak of 125 Wilson’s Snipe 
was tallied in Minnehaha, SD 6 Nov (DC). 

In recent years, the fall season has usually 
been characterized by at least some vagrant 
larids. This year, however, the numbers and 
diversity of species were unusually high. An 
unprecedented 16 species of gulls were docu- 
mented in South Dakota, including 14 species 
seen 27 Nov by Olson and Stotz at four Mis- 
souri R. dams. On 21 Nov, Martin, Svingen, 
and Ellingson saw 10 species at Garrison 
Dam, ND, the highest one-day count for that 
location. Black-legged Kittiwakes led the way, 
with the highest numbers ever recorded in the 
Dakotas. The species was present 30 Oct 
through the end of the season at Pierre, with a 
peak of 7 between 21 and 27 Nov (RDO, KM, 
DB). Others included up to 3 at Big Bend Dam 
20-30 Nov QSP, RDO, BU) and up to 2 at Fort 
Randall Dam 27-29 Nov (RDO, BU). In North 
Dakota, where the species is accidental away 
from Garrison Dam, singles were in Grand 
Forks 1-2 & 15-19 Nov (p.a., EEF, DOL). The 
species was at Garrison Dam 21-30 Nov, with 
a new state high count of 4 on 25 Nov (REM). 

Sabine’s Gulls peaked at 5 at Medicine L., 
MT 22 Sep (REM, TN). Five were reported 
from four locations in South Dakota begin- 
ning 9 Sep, and one was still present at the end 


of the season at Big Bend 
Dam (DB, BU, KJ). Fif- 
teen individuals at eight 
locations in North Dakota 
began with an ad. at Gar- 
rison Dam 6 Sep (REM) 
and ended with a juv. at 
Fargo 2 Nov (DWR). 
Four were on Devils L. 25 
Sep (N.D.B.S.). The 13th 
and 14th reports for 
South Dakota, single Lit- 
tle Gulls were present 18 
Sep-30 Nov in Pierre 
(p.a., RDO) and in Lake 
13 Nov (p.a., JSP). The 
bird of the season, and a 
first for South Dakota, 
was an ad. Ross’s Gull at 
Gavin’s Point Dam, SD 
26-30 Nov (p.a., MB), 
right on the border with 
Nebraska. Birders from 
across the United States 
came to see this coopera- 
tive individual. At least 3 
Mew Gulls were present 
12 Oct-30 Nov at Pierre, 
SD (RDO, KM), and an- 
other was seen at Yankton 
28-29 Nov (SS, BU). At 




South Dakota's first Ross's Gulf here with a Bonaparte's Gull, was shared with Nebraska 
on the state line at Gavin's Point Dam 26-30 (here 28) November 2010. Photograph by 
Doug Backlund. 


least 3 were at Garrison 
Dam, ND 9 Oct-28 Nov 
(REM). Furnishing the 
13th record for South Dakota, an Iceland Gull 
was at Big Bend Dam 27 Nov (p.a., RDO), and 
2-3 were at Garrison Dam, ND 21-28 Nov 
(REM). Making the 5th record for Montana, a 
Lesser Black-backed Gull was at Ft. Peck 31 
Aug (p.a., GS). In South Dakota, this species 
was noted at three locations 5 Sep-30 Nov, 
with at least 6 present during the period at 
Pierre (RDO). In North Dakota, reports from 4 
Sep-30 Nov included 4 individuals from three 
counties (REM, CDE, DNS). A potential 2nd 
record for South Dakota, a third-cycle Glau- 
cous-winged Gull was at Pierre 27-30 Nov 
(p.a., RDO, KM). Casual at Ft. Peck, MT, a 
Glaucous-winged Gull was studied 30 Oct 
(p.a., CC). Last, but not least, a Great Black- 
backed Gull was at Yankton, SD 29 Nov, the 
3rd report for the state (p.a., BU). 

An ad. Arctic Tern at Pierre, SD 23-27 Sep 
(p.a., DB) provided the 4th record for the 
state. Caspian Terns were the latest on record 
for their respective states in Burleigh, ND 3 
Oct (CDE) and at Pierre, SD 6 Oct (RDO). A 
Black Tern was late in Kidder, ND 20 Oct 
(HCT). Accidental in e. Montana, a Parasitic 
Jaeger was at Freezout L. 17-24 Aug (p.a., 
MS, LC, AE). The 8th report for North Dako- 


Making the long-awaited first record for North Dakota, this 
Cassin's Kingbird was in Grand Forks 7-10 (here 7) Novem- 
ber 2010. Photograph by Tim Driscoll. 

ta, a Long-tailed Jaeger was in Grand Forks, 
ND 26-28 Aug (p.a., EEF, DOL). 

OWLS THROUGH FINCHES 

A Barn Owl family photographed in Nelson, 
ND 1 1 Aug (LY) provided the first nesting ev- 
idence in North Dakota in many years; singles 
were found dead in Grand Forks, ND in late 
Sep and late Nov (DOL). Furnishing the ear- 
liest fall record for North Dakota, a Northern 


VOLUME 65 (2011) 


NUMBER 1 


111 


NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS 


Hawk Owl was in Grand Forks 30 Sep-3 Oct 
(p.a., SJA). Accidental in e. Montana and ca- 
sual in the state, an Anna’s Hummingbird 
was in Ft. Peck 11-21 Oct (p.a., ph. CC, VJ). 
The 2nd ever for Montana, a Costa’s Hum- 
mingbird was in Saco 6 Aug-31 Oct (p.a., ph. 
DHM). A Broad-tailed Hummingbird was late 
in Pennington, SD 25 Sep QB). Pileated Wood- 
peckers continue to expand in North Dakota. 
One in Ward 30 Sep (fide REM) provided the 
2nd record for the county, and one in 
Jamestown 17 Nov (fide LDl) added to the 
growing number of sightings in that area. 

A long-anticipated first record for North 
Dakota, a Cassin’s Kingbird was in Grand 
Forks 7-10 Nov (p.a., SJA, TGD, ph). Casual 
in North Dakota, a road-killed Gray Jay was 
found in Barnes 22 Oct (MAO). Still rare in 
South Dakota, a Common Raven was in Hard- 
ing 21 Oct (CM). Providing the 2nd nesting 
location for the species in Montana, a pair of 
Purple Martins with young was in Westby 7 
Aug (TN). The first critically identified in 
Montana, a Winter Wren was in Westby 27 
Sep (TN, BW). A hatch-year Carolina Wren 
was banded in Clay, SD 11 Sep (DS). About 
the 13th report for North Dakota, a Sage 
Thrasher was at J. Clark Salyer N.W.R. 7 Nov 
(p.a., GAE). A Bohemian Waxwing 25 Sep in 
Hand provided the earliest fall record for 


South Dakota (DB). 

An Orange-crowned Warbler was late in 
West Fargo, ND 17 Nov (MAO). A nice peak 
of 45 Nashville Warblers was in Minnehaha, 
SD 5 Sep (TJ). A late Cape May Warbler visit- 
ed Bismarck, ND 19-21 Oct (CDF). Casual in 
Montana, Black-throated Blue Warblers were 
in Westby 21-23 Sep (REM, TN) and at Med- 
icine Lake N.W.R. 22 Sep (REM). About the 
10th for Montana, a Black-throated Gray 
Warbler was in Westby 2-3 Sep (p.a., GS, 
TN). This bird was the 30th warbler species 
ever recorded at the park in Westby. The 3rd 
fall record for North Dakota, a Hooded War- 
bler was in Bismarck 7 Sep (p.a., CDE). 

The 2nd latest for the state, and rarely 
recorded in fall, 2 Brewers Sparrows were in 
Bowman, ND 18 Sep (REM, CDE). Twenty 
Grasshopper Sparrows in Sioux, ND 15 Oct 
were a good showing for such a late date 
(DNS). A notable peak of 100 Le Conte’s 
Sparrows was in Clay, SD 9 Oct (RDO), and 2 
were late in Clay 29 Oct (DS). About the 9th 
for North Dakota, a Gray-headed Junco was 
in Morton 28 Sep (p.a., HCT). Late tanagers 
included a Scarlet Tanager in Fargo, ND 30 
Oct (KRC) and a Summer Tanager in Min- 
nehaha, SD 6-8 Nov (TJ). A flock of 350 Rusty 
Blackbirds in Minnehaha, SD 5 Nov (DC) was 
notable for this declining species. The only 


Southern Great Plains 



Joseph A. Grzybowski 
W. Ross Silcock 


I t is hard to qualify drought and wet cycles 
in this large Region, but overall, more of 
the Region appears to be in drought cycle. 


concentrating some marsh birds and making 
them more visible where they occur. Never- 
theless, there were few strong patterns evi- 
dent among regularly occurring species, oth- 
er than the general trend for birds to linger 
farther north and later in the season. North- 
ern Shrikes and Red-breasted Nuthatches 
were in higher numbers than average, as were 
several species of shorebird. 

Every season brings its patterns and rari- 
ties, but this season’s observations of Magnifi- 
cent Frigatebird, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, 
Long-tailed Jaeger, Ross’s Gull, Anna’s Hum- 
mingbird, and Brown-headed Nuthatch made 
it especially memorable. Indeed, the fifteen 
species of gulls recorded this season would be 
exceptional anywhere in North America! 

Abbreviations; Cheyenne Bottoms (Cheyenne 
Bottoms W.M.A., Stafford, KS); Crescent Lake 
(Crescent Lake N.W.R., Garden, NE); Hack- 
berry (Hackberry Flat W.M.A., Tillman, OK); 
Hefner (L. Hefner, Oklahoma, OK); Mc- 
Conaughy (McConaughy Res., Keith, NE); 


Red Crossbill report away from the Black 
Hills area of South Dakota was a flock of 22 at 
Denbigh Experimental Forest, ND 5 Nov 
(REM). Two reports of White-winged Cross- 
bills in North Dakota were both of single 
birds. A few Common Redpolls were noted 
beginning 30 Oct. Now very rare, single 
Evening Grosbeaks were in Lincoln, SD 2 Oct 
(TJ) and in Minot, ND 29 Oct (REM). 

Contributors (state editors in boldface): 
MONTANA: Chuck Carlson, Larry Carter, 
Aria Eckert, Vi Johnson, Ron E. Martin, Don 
and Holly Minerath, Ted Nordhagen, Fritz 
Prellwitz, Mike Schwitters, Gary Swant, Bart 
Whelton. NORTH DAKOTA: Sandy J. Aubol, 
Keith R. Corliss, Tim G. Driscoll, Corey D. 
Ellingson, Gary A. Eslinger, Eve E. Freeberg, 
Larry D. Igl, Dave 0. Lambeth, Jack P. Lefor, 
Ron E. Martin, North Dakota Birding Society, 
Mark A. Otnes, Dean W. Riemer, Dan N. Svin- 
gen, H. Clark Talkington, Lorie Yocum. 
SOUTH DAKOTA: Doug Backlund, Jocie Bak- 
er, Mark Brogie, Doug Chapman, Kent Jensen, 
Todd Jensen, Charlie Miller, Kenny Miller, 
Gary Olson, Ricky D. Olson, Jeffrey S. Palmer, 
Scott Stolz, Dave Swanson, Bill Unzen. © 


Ron Martin, 16900 125th Street SE 

Sawyer, North Dakota 58781-9284, (jrmartin@srt.com) 


Quivira (Quivira N.W.R., Barton, KS); Red 
Slough (Red Slough W.M.A., McCurtain, OK); 
Salt Plains (Salt Plains N.W.R., Alfalfa, OK). 

DUCKS THROUGH SPOONBILL 

A Black-bellied Whistling-Duck in Omaha, 
NE mid-Aug+ (MB, WF) was among the latest 
on record for Nebraska; 2 were in Garfield, OK 
1 Aug (MCr), vUth up to 27 at Red Slough 22 
Sep (DA). Four Trumpeter Swans were in 
Woods, OK 27 Nov (RGu), first of the expect- 
ed winter series. Sightings of Tundra Swans 
are few these days; 10 were at Quivira 20 Oct 
QC, CM, KG). Up to 5 Mottled Ducks, rare in 
the Region, were at Red Slough 11 Aug-29 
Nov (DA); Kansas birders had single Mottleds 
in Coffey 8 Aug QK. MG) and at Quivira 29 
Aug (BJ). Rather rare in recent years, an Amer- 
ican Black Duck was noted among the Mal- 
lards in Cedar 26 Nov (MB). Greater Scaup 
were reported beginning 28 Oct (fide WRS, 
LM). Reports of scoters are increasing, with at 
least 14 Surfs for the season, including 6 in 
Osage, KS 14 Nov (BF), 12 White-wingeds, in- 


112 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS 


eluding 4 at McConaughy 1-2 Nov (MRe), 
and a surprising 29 Blacks, the latter including 
a flock of 18 female/imm, birds in Lancaster, 
NE 21 Nov OGJ)- Long-tailed Ducks were also 
in higher numbers; 5 were in Nebraska 20-29 
Nov (fide WRS), 2 in Kansas — one each in 
Haskell 25 Nov (]K) and Morton the same day 
OK) — and one on Sooner L., OK 28-29 Nov 
(BH, JM et ah). A Regional “zootie” away from 
nw. Nebraska was a Barrow’s Goldeneye in 
Reno, KS 27 Nov (KG, CM). 

Only 2 Pacific Loons were reported, singles 
in Oklahoma, OK 1 Nov QW, VB) and Russell, 
KS 13-24 Nov (MR). A summering Common 
Loon in Oklahoma, OK was noted 16 Aug 
(EV). Red-necked Grebes this season included 
singles in Cedar, NE 21 Sep (MB), Lancaster, 
NE 16-20 Nov (1-2; DL, RSt, DAk), Douglas, 
NE 2-25 Nov (NR, m.ob.), and Coffey, KS 20 
Nov (fide LM, MCo). Western Grebes were 
noted across the Region; Kansas tallied at least 
37 (fide WRS, LM). A family group of Western 
Grebes that included 3 half-grown unfledged 
young at North Platte, NE 16 Sep (WRS, PS) 
provided an extralimital breeding record. Sin- 
gle Clark’s Grebes were reported in Hitchcock, 
NE 26 Sep (LR, RH) and Russell, KS 13 Nov 
(MR). Rare anywhere in the Region, up to 2 
Brown Pelicans frequented L. Acadia, Oklaho- 
ma, OK 21 Aug (BD et al.) through 21 Nov. 
Nine Neotropic Cormorants were noted away 
from Red Slough, including one n. and late in 
Lancaster, NE 26 Nov OCa, SSc) and 3 at 
Cheyenne Bottoms 13 Aug (GY, JWi). Also a 
rarity in the Region away from Red Slough, a 
late Anhinga was in Johnston, OK 16 Nov 
QuR). An outstanding find was a Magnificent 
Frigatebird photographed in Douglas, KS 14 
Sep (MA, PH, JK), only the 6th for Kansas, 
likely a spin-off of Hurricane Karl. 

Among a recent scatter of Least Bitterns, 
one was in Seward, NE 22 Aug (LE) and up to 
4 were at a wetland in se. Sarpy, NE through 
23 Sep (L&BR ARy m.ob.). Leasts likely bred 
at Hackberry, where 2 ads. and an imm. were 
seen 22 Aug (LHa). A Great Egret in Washing- 
ton, NE 16 Nov QT) and a Snowy Egret in 
Harlan, NE 17 Oct (KS) were tardy. The only 
Tricolored Herons reported were in Oklaho- 
ma: up to 2 at Hackberry 22 Aug-1 Sep (LHa, 
L&MT) and up to 4 at Red Slough 5 Aug-3 
Sep (DA). The only Yellow-crowned Night- 
Heron reaching Nebraska was in Dawson 4 
Sep (CNK). A vagrant juv. White Ibis was at 
Cheyenne Bottoms 16 Sep (RP); Red Slough 
had 2 as late as 22 Nov (DA). A White-faced 
Ibis in Clay, KS 22 Nov QKe) was very late. 
Roseate Spoonbill wandered to Red Slough, 
where more normal, with 2-5 birds 1 1 Aug-7 
Oct (DA); more of a surprise were the 4 at 
Hackberry 18-19 Sep (LHa). 


VULTURES THROUGH SHOREBIRDS 

Black Vultures continue to press the edge of 
their range outward; 2 were in Cherokee, KS 
18 Oct (LH), and another was in Tillman, OK 
28 Aug (LHa). A record fall tally for Nebraska 
was the 300 Turkey Vultures in Frontier 23 
Sep (TJW). Mississippi Kites are known to 
breed regularly at only one site in Nebraska, 
Ogallala; the presence of up to 7 in Dundy 3- 
23 Aug was of interest (TJW, WM). The Ogal- 
lala kites re-nested late, with several nests 
containing juvs. 29 Aug QO). Among the 
most unexpected raptors of the season were 2 
Swallow-tailed Kites in Cleveland, OK 9-11 
Aug (RGu, JAG et al). Northern Goshawks 
were reported as far s. as Sedgwick, KS 28 Oct 
ON); a juv. was brought to a recovery center 
in Douglas, NE 17 Oct (DLe). The latest 
Broad-winged Hawk reported was westerly in 
Stevens, KS 3 Oct (CH). Ferruginous Hawks 
were seen in good numbers in Kansas; 20+ 
were on one ranch in Logan, KS 30 Oct (PJ, 
TM, KG, RG); easterly sightings included 2 in 
Clay, NE 11 Oct QLL, KS), one in Fillmore, 
NE 13 Oct OGJ), and one in Tulsa, OK 19 Oct 
OS et al.). Golden Eagles were easterly to Red 
Slough 9-23 Nov (DA); another in Wabaunsee, 
KS 4 Oct (CH) was early. Easterly Prairie Fal- 
cons were in Fillmore, NE 13 Oct ORi) and 
Osage, KS 20 Nov (MG et al). 

Scattered King Rail reports came from 
Sarpy, NE 16 Aug OCa, SSc), Sedgwick, KS 1 
Aug (PJ), Quivira 13 Aug (GY), Sumner, KS 
14 Aug (GY, MT), and Harvey, KS 15 Aug 
(PJ). Probable early migrants were 4 Virginia 
Rails at Quivira 13 Aug (GY). A late Sora was 
in Custer, NE 2 Nov (TJW). The only Purple 
Gallinules reported were at Red Slough, with 
as many as 18 noted there 19 Sep; the last was 
reported 18 Nov (DA). Common Moorhens 
away from Red Slough were reported only 
from Hackberry, where 2 were found 22 Aug 
(LHa) and 6 on 13 Oct (L&MT). Adding to a 
short list of breeding locations for Sandhill 
Crane in Nebraska was a site in Clay, NE, 
where 2 ads. and an imm. were present 31 
Aug OD); breeding has occurred in the Rain- 
water Basin on six previous occasions. Ex- 
tremely strong winds 26-29 Oct pushed Sand- 
hill flocks of 7-300 birds into e. Kansas, in- 
cluding Jefferson, Leavenworth, and Douglas 
(fide LM). Late Sandhill Cranes were in Riley, 
KS 27 Nov (2 birds; JRo). Whooping Cranes 
passed through the Region on schedule 22 
Oct-21 Nov (fide LM, fide MC), with 91 total 
at Quivira (fide LM) including a peak of 14 on 
30 Oct (ML). 

The 80-90 Black-bellied Plovers made a 
high count at Cheyenne Bottoms 25 Oct 
(MR). Good fall numbers of American Gold- 
en-Plover included the 263 in Seward, NE 15 



In the southern Great Plains, fall reports of Northern 
Goshawk are seldom well documented; most reported in 
September and even October are likely to be misidentified 
Cooper's Hawks. This immature goshawk was brought to a 
rehabilitation facility in Douglas County, Nebraska 17 Octo- 
ber 201 0. Photograph by Denise Lewis. 



The status of Swallow-tailed Kite in the southern Great 
Plains is difficult to assess. Two in Norman, Cleveland 
County, Oklahoma 10 August 2010 (here) may have been 
part of a post-breeding dispersal from coastal areas. Photo- 
graph by Joe Grzybowski. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) 


NUMBER 1 


113 


SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS 




dropped in at the Sait Plains National Wildlife Refuge, Alfalfa County, Oklahoma 30 
September 2010. Photograph by Steve Metz. 


bly more, were at Quivira 2 
Oct (SS). Outstanding was 
Nebraska’s 4th Sharp-tailed 
Sandpiper, a juv. in Phelps 6 
Oct OGJ). Buff-breasted 
Sandpipers were widely re- 
ported, essentially all in 
Aug; the top count was a 
meager 44 in Clay, KS 9 Aug 
(ER). Fall migrant American 
Woodcocks are often hard to 
detect; one was westerly in 
Reno, KS 31 Oct (SS). Red- 
necked Phalarope was wide- 
ly reported in all states, with 
best count 8 in Morton, KS 
23 Sep (MR, KB, RP), the 
latest in Haiper, OK 8 Oct 
(EB) and in Lancaster, NE 7- 
10 Oct (EE), and the most easterly in Wash- 
ington, NE 21 Aug-2 Sep (up to 3; JR, JED) 
and Douglas, KS 14 Sep (2; MA, PH). Single 
Red Phalaropes were at the Salt Plains 30 Sep 
(RSi, SM) and 10 Oct (SM, JV, ME), in Lan- 
caster, NE 5 Oct (PD), and at Cheyenne Bot- 
toms 11 Nov (SS, EHe, BGl). 


Long-tailed Jaegers, such as this juvenile found in Scotts 
Bluff County, Nebraska 18-19 (here 19) September 2010, 
are rarely detected as migrants through the Great Plains 
and not reported annually. Photograph by Phil Swanson. 

Oct OGJ)- A late Semipalmated Plover was in 
Alfalfa, OK 6 Nov (MH). A Piping Plover, a 
rare migrant in Kansas and Oklahoma, was 
found in Clay, KS 4 Aug (ER), and another 
was in Alfalfa, OK 1 Sep (fideJM). Mountain 
Plovers were noted almost daily mid-Sep- 
mid-Oct in Cimarron, OK (DR). Six American 
Avocets in Lancaster, NE 10 Nov (EE) were 
late; 300-t- at Cheyenne Bottoms 25 Oct (MR) 
was an average total. Usually, only a few Long- 
billed Curlews are reported during the fall pe- 
riod. This season, 3 were in Clay, KS 2 Aug 
(ER) and one in Haskell, OK 18 Aug QM, AV); 
but at Hackberry, 27 were noted 27 Aug (AH) 
and 35 on 27 Sep (LHa), with the last 3 seen 
13 Oct (L&MT), a noteworthy concentration. 
Marbled Godwit, a species lingering later in 
recent autumn seasons, numbered 4 in Keith, 
NE 3 Oct (MB) and 2 at Quivira 10 Oct (BJ). 
Ruddy Turnstones were reported at Cheyenne 
Bottoms 4 Aug (one; JWi) and in Hamilton, 
NE 4-6 Aug (2 birds; PD, L&BP). 

A remarkable 5000 Least Sandpipers, possi- 


GULLS THROUGH WOODPECKERS 

A cooperative juv. Black-legged Kittiwake re- 
mained in Lancaster, NE 19-27 Nov (LE, 
m.ob.). Three Sabine’s Gulls were reported 
from Nebraska 16-27 Sep (WRS, PS, LE, MB), 
with one at the Salt Plains 10 Oct QY SM, 
ME). Apparently part of a Great Plains influx 
of Ross’s Gulls involving about 5 birds, a very 
pink-breasted ad. thrilled numerous ob- 
servers in Cedar, NE 26-30 Nov (MB, ph. DB, 
m.ob.), a 2nd for the state. A first-cycle Little 
Gull in Alfalfa, OK 10 Oct QY ME) was the 
only one reported; this species is less than an- 
nual in the Region. Laughing Gulls were re- 
ported only from McPherson, KS 4 Oct (TW), 
Riley, KS 21 Oct (LJ), and Lancaster, NE 11 
Nov (DL), all singles. A surprising associate 
of the Nebraska Ross’s Gull was an ad. Mew 
Gull, also seen 26-29 Nov (MB, m.ob.). Cali- 
fornia Gulls reported more widely in the Re- 
gion included 17 at McConaughy 23 Sep 
(KDy), with singles in Cherokee, OK 10 Nov 
(MP, MD), Russell, KS 13 Nov (MR), Oklaho- 
ma, OK 19-22 Nov (BD, EV), and Rooks, KS 
28 Nov (M&EC). Early for ad. Herring Gulls 
were the 10 at McConaughy 18-19 Sep (WRS, 
PS). A first-cycle and 2 ad. Thayer’s Gulls ap- 
peared at McConaughy 1 Nov (MRe). Now a 
regular migrant in the Region, there were six 
reports of Lesser Black-backed Gulls, five in 
Nebraska (totaling 6 birds) 17 Oct-29 Nov 
(fide WRS) and a single in Sumner, KS 21 Nov 
(SS). Only one Glaucous Gull appeared be- 
fore the end of the period, that in Cedar, NE 


26 Nov (MB). Great Black-backed Gull is 
quite rare in the Region; 2 were reported, in- 
cluding a first-cycle bird in Cedar, NE 26 Nov 
(MB) and an ad. at McConaughy 23 Sep (ph. 
KDy). A juv. intermediate-morph Long-tailed 
Jaeger in Scotts Bluff 18-19 Sep (ph. PS, WRS, 
KD et al.) made an enviable find. 

White-winged Doves were reported e. to 
Riley, KS, where 2-3 were present through 3 
Sep O&DR, RG). Greater Roadrunner contin- 
ues to inch northward in cen. Kansas; a pair 
with 3 young was in Great Bend, Barton 7 Sep 
(fide MC), and a single was in Rush 17 Oct 
(BSc). Only 4 Black-billed Cuckoos were re- 
ported, 3 in Nebraska, including one late in 
Otoe 10 Oct (KDy) and one in Osage, OK 16 
Aug (BD). Long-eared Owls, rarely reported 
in Oklahoma, were found in Cimarron 6 Sep 
(BC) and 19 Oct (DR). The 13 Common 
Poorwills detected during night surveys in 
Logan, KS 2-6 Oct (BG, m.ob.) was an excel- 
lent count. A tardy whip-poor-will of un- 
known species was in Cass, NE 2 Oct (MB); 
there are few fall reports. 

Among westerly Ruby-throated Humming- 
birds were singles in Scotts Bluff 21 Aug (KD), 
Lincoln, NE 19 & 26 Sep (TJW), and Ellis, KS 
11 Oct (TM), the latter rather late. Another 
tardy Ruby-throated was in Lancaster, NE 17 
Oct (R&SW). An easterly Black-chinned 
Hummingbird was in Finney, KS 25 Sep 
(T&SS). Following the summer report of an 
Anna’s Hummingbird were 2 more this sea- 
son, one in Finney, KS 3-25 Sep (DW, T&SS) 
and an imm. male in Comanche, OK 22-25 
Oct (K&SM, m.ob.); there are very few Re- 
gional records. Three Calliope Hummingbirds 
were reported, singles in Scotts Bluff, NE 17- 
18 Aug (KD), Grant, KS 20 Sep (KHa), and 
Haskell, KS 21 Sep (MR, KB, RP). There were 
seven reports of Broad-tailed Hummingbird, 
all from Nebraska and Kansas 11 Aug-21 Sep 
(KD, AS, MS, T&SS); one of these was e. to 
Ellis, KS 11 Aug (MS). Only 6 Rufous Hum- 
mingbirds were reported, the latest in Ellis, 
KS 27 Oct-23 Nov (TM), the others scattered: 
in Pottawatomie, KS 3 Aug (BM), Knox, NE 15 
Sep (MB), Haskell, KS 21 Sep (MR, KB, RP), 
and Muskogee, OK 5 Sep (AV). A juv. Lewis’s 
Woodpecker wandered eastward to Mc- 
Conaughy 18 Sep (CB et al.). The only report 
of a Red-naped Sapsucker was from Morton, 
KS 3 Oct (CH). 

FLYCATCHERS THROUGH THRASHERS 

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher is rarely reported in 
fall migration; the only sighting was of 2 
rather late in Shawnee, KS 1 Oct (PW). Rare 
but regular in the w. portion of the Region, 
single Hammond’s Flycatchers were in Mor- 
ton, KS 4 Sep (DW, m.ob.) and Kimball, NE 17 


114 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS 



This Anna's Hummingbird in Lawton, Comanche County, Oklahoma 1 3-25 (here 1 6) October was 
only the fifth documented in in the state but was the third of the fall 201 0 season in the south- 
ern Great Plains in 2010. Photograph by Joe Grzybowski. 


Sep (WRS, PS); a Dusky Fly- 
catcher reached Cimarron, OK 
27 Aug GAG, DR). There are 
very few documented reports of 
Gray Flycatcher for the Region; 
one was seen by multiple ob- 
servers in Morton, KS 4 Sep (DW, 
m.ob.). Cordilleran Flycatcher is 
another rare w. migrant; there 
were four reports, three in the 
Nebraska Panhandle 25 Aug- 17 
Sep (HKH, AK, WRS. PS) and 
one in Pawnee, KS 1 Sep (SS). No 
doubt a striking sight was the 
500 Eastern Kingbirds migrating 
over Quivira 3 Sep (BS). The last 
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was re- 
ported in Johnston, OK 13 Nov 
(BA et ah). The number of 
Northern Shrikes reported this 
fall suggests a good winter sea- 
son for them on the Plains; early 
was a juv. in Gray, KS 8 Oct (SS), 
with at least 18 others reported 
in Nebraska and Kansas by the 
end of the period (fide WRS, fide 
MC). Westerly were 3 Bell’s Vire- 
os in Cimarron, OK QAG, DR). Tardy was a 
White-eyed Vireo in Chase, NE 3 Oct (MB). 
Nine Cassin’s Vireos were reported in w. Ne- 
braska 28 Aug-18 Sep (fide WRS), with sin- 
gles in Cimarron, OK 29 Aug (fide JM) and 6 
Sep (BC); this is a rare migrant in Oklahoma. 
Fish Crows are becoming numerous in se. 
Kansas; 35 were in Sumner 22 Aug (GY) and 
34 in Lyon 8 Aug QK, MG), with 5 westerly to 
Sedgwick 3 Aug QC). The large Omaha, NE 
roost of Purple Martins peaked at 30,000 on 
4-14 Sep OR) but was dwarfed by the Wichi- 
ta, KS roost, which had 100,000 birds by 12 
Aug (CM, HG). Thirty-five Cave Swallows ap- 
peared as a flock in Comanche, OK 10 Sep 
QAG). Three Barn Swallows in Tulsa, OK 10 
Nov (MP, MD) were late. 

Red-breasted Nuthatches were already no- 
tably numerous in Kansas after late Aug (fide 
LM, fide MC). One of the more impressive 
finds of the season, 2 Brown-headed 
Nuthatches were at Holmes L., Lincoln, NE 
8-12 Nov (LE, noting single bird; RSt, CNK, 
RE noting 2) and remaining through the peri- 
od. Even more remarkable, Lincoln may be 
the only location to have hosted all four 
North American nuthatch species! Early were 
Tovrasend’s Solitaires in Otoe, NE 27 Aug (LF, 
SQ). A tally of flyby American Robins in 
Knox, NE yielded an impressive 150,000 on 
20 Oct (MB). Hanging northward were Gray 
Catbirds in Pawnee, NE 8 Nov (WE) and in 
Pawnee, KS 18 Nov (SS). Curve-billed 
Thrasher may be expanding eastward in sw. 


Kansas, given the counts of up to 4 in Stevens 
6 Sep (PJ) and 3 Oct (CH), plus one in Grant 
11 Sep (KHa). 

LONGSPURS THROUGH FINCHES 

McCown’s Longspurs tend to move along the 
extreme w. edge of the Region; thus the 12 in 
Gray, KS 30 Oct (SS) were unexpected there. 
The best fall tally of Lapland Longspurs was 
the 2000+ in Gray, KS 6 Nov, along with a 
Smith’s Longspur (SS). Rare s. of Nebraska, a 
single Snow Bunting was at Quivira 7 Nov 
(SS). Rare anywhere in the Region, a Blue- 
winged Warbler was in Osage, KS 19 Sep (MG, 
JK), and Golden- winged Warblers were found 
in Chase, NE 2-3 Oct (MB) and Tulsa, OK 12 
Sep (BC). The 50+ Nashville Warblers in Cass, 
NE 18 Sep (MB) made a very high count for re- 
cent years. Quite tardy was a Northern Parula 
in Sarpy, NE 9 Oct (L&BP). Early was an 
Audubon’s Warbler in Cimarron, OK 27 Aug 
QAG). Chestnut-sided Warblers were found in 
Tulsa 29 Aug (BC) through 3 Oct (AJ). Rare 
Black-throated Blue Warblers were all in Ne- 
braska, in Sioux 22 Aug (HKH), Sa?-py 16 Sep 
(ARy), and Dixon 18 Sep (MB). Townsend’s 
Warbler is a regular but uncommon fall mi- 
grant through the w. portion of the Region; 2 
were in Sioux 19 Aug (HKH), and singles were 
in Cimarron 28 Aug (DR) and 6 (BC) & 10 Sep 
(DR). Westerly was a Magnolia Warbler in 
Cimarron, OK 27 Aug QAG, DR). Pine War- 
blers keep trudging westward, extending this 
season to Sedgwick, KS 11 Sep (PJ), Thomas, 


KS 30 Oct (PJ, TM, KG, RG), and 
Oklahoma, OK 1 Nov (BD et al). 
Palm Warbler, another rare fall 
migrant, was found in Dixon, NE 
23-25 Sep OJ), Custer, NE 2 Oct 
(TH), and Lancaster, NE 7 Oct 
(LE). A Swainson’s Warbler, sel- 
dom reported in fall even from its 
se. Oklahoma breeding area, was 
noted 7 Sep at Red Slough (DA). 
A westerly Kentucky Warbler was 
in Lincoln, NE 10 Sep (TJW); an- 
other in Tulsa, OK 3 Oct (AJ) was 
tardy. A Mourning Warbler was a 
good find as far w. in Nebraska as 
Red Willow 7 Sep (tWF). A Com- 
mon Yellowthroat was tardy in 
York, NE 24 Oct (SMo). A Cana- 
da Warbler was early in Tulsa 18 
Aug, and one was late there 3 Oct 
(AJ). A very late Yellow-breasted 
Chat was in Haskell, KS 6 
Oct (TB). 

Lark Buntings e. of their usual 
range were in Custer, NE 31 Aug 
(4; TH), with singles in Wabaun- 
see, KS 5 Sep OS), at Quivira 4 
Sep (MA), and at Red Slough 12 Oct (DA, 
PM). Baird’s Sparrow is a very hard-to-detect 
fall migrant in the Region; one was in Morton, 
KS 21 Sep (MR, KB, RP). There were 11 re- 
ports of Nelson’s Sparrow from Nebraska and 
Kansas 1-22 Oct (Jide WRS.JK, MA, PJ). A Fox 
Sparrow identified as a Slate-colored was at 
McConaughy 1 Nov (MRe). A White-crowned 
Sparrow showed up early at Red Slough 5 Oct 
(DA). Unusual was a White-winged Junco in 
Cimanon, OK 29 Oct (CR). A Pink-sided Jun- 
co was very early in Kimball, NE 17 Sep (WRS, 
PS). A Scarlet Tanager in Omaha, NE was pres- 
ent at the very late date of 20 Nov (tJR). A very 
late Indigo Bunting was in Harlan, NE 16 Nov 
(tWF), and a similarly tardy Dickcissel was in 
Chase, KS 10 Oct (CM). 

Three Bobolinks in Douglas, KS 2 Oct QR, 
MA) were rather late; most depart in Sep. An 
encouraging 100 Rusty Blackbirds were seen 
in Coffey, KS 20 Nov (MG et al.); 19 were in 
Lancaster, NE 22 Nov (LE). A tardy Orchard 
Oriole was in Otoe, NE 26 Sep (LF). Very late 
for the Nebraska Panhandle was a male Balti- 
more Oriole in Scotts Bluff 18 Sep (WRS, PS). 
Two Cassin’s Finches, rare and erratic in w. 
stretches of the Region, were seen in Scotts 
Bluff 13 Sep (TCW), with one there 19 Sep 
(KD). Another erratic Nebraska Panhandle 
specialty is Red Crossbill; 323 were banded at 
Wildcat Hills Nature Center, Scotts Bluff, NE 1 
Sep-6 Oct (CW). Becoming more regular 
each year in the Nebraska Panhandle, 2 Less- 
er Goldfinches were at Wildcat Hills Nature 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


115 


ID 





A completely revisecf edition oKtHe ABA Checklist oftheBip 


of the CohtitfenidI United States ar 


' Canada 


' •atbfalofW^specTesiXl^^v^V 
-• 33 species nevir to the ABA jClieckIi$fX|:jX5> : v" 
• 3 species removed frbiti th^list ^ c X 

several new species as a resdlt of '^splifs" • , ^ o ' 

• 14 species rbharhed^ \ \^ 

accounts of rhore than 200 Code 4, 5, and 6 Species 


List Price: 

$19.95 


SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS 


Center 17 Sep (WRS, PS, AK), where 6 were 
banded 1 Sep-4 Oct (CW). After an encour- 
aging showing by Evening Grosbeaks in the 
Nebraska Pine Ridge this spring, only 2 were 
reported this fall, photographed together in a 
Lincoln yard 5 Nov (VC). 

Cited observers: NEBRASKA: Danny Akers 
(DAk), Doug Backlund, Mark Brogie, Charles 
Brown, John Carlini QCa), Virginia Clark, 
Kathy DeLara, Jeff Drahota, James E. Ducey 
Paul Dunbar, Keith Dyche (KDy), Rick Eades, 
Larry Einemann, Laurence Ealk, William 
Elack, Tim Elajda, Robin Harding, Helen K. 
Hughson, Jan Johnson, Joel G. Jorgensen, Al- 
ice Kenitz, Clem N. Klaphake, Jeanine L. 
Lackey, Dan Leger, Denise Lewis (DLe), 
Wayne Mollhoff, Steve Morris, Loren & Babs 
Padelford, Susan Quinn, Larry Randolph, 
Neal Ratzlaff, Mike Resch (MRe), A1 Reyer 
(ARy), Juanita Rice QRi), Justin Rink, Rick 
Schmid (RSm), Shari Schwartz, W. Ross Sil- 
cock, Kent Skaggs, Ruth Stearns (RSt), Au- 
drey Sterkel, Phil Swanson, Jerry Toll, T.J. 
Walker, Ron & Susan Whitney, Collin Wool- 
ley. KANSAS: Mike Anderson, Ken Brunson, 
Thomas Berry, Jeff Calhoun, Mark Corder, 
Mark & Elaine Corder (M&EC), Mike Coop- 
er (MCo), Bill Ealk, Matt Gearheart, Kevin 
Groeneweg, Harry Gregory, Rob Graham, Bob 
Gress, Bruce Glick (BGl), Chris Hobbs, Larry 
Herbert, Larry Hesed (LHe), Kellye Hart 
(KHa), Pete Hosner, Pete Janzen, Lowell 
Johnson, Barry Jones, Jon King, Jeff Keating 
QKe), Mark Land, Brandon Magette, Cheryl 
Miller, Terry Manned, Lloyd Moore, John 
Northrop, Robert Penner, Edward Raynor, 
John Row 0Ro),John & Diane Row Q&DR), 
Mike Rader, Marilyn Sim, Scott Seltman, Bri- 
an Seltman (BSe), Tom & Sara Shane (T63:SS), 
Bill Sutton, John Schukman, Max Thompson, 
Tristan Weinbrenner, Jeff Witters QWi), Dave 
Williams, Phil Wedge, Gene Young, Michael 
Zajic. OKLAHOMA: Bill Adams, David Ar- 
bour, Eric Beck, Valarie Bradshaw, Bill Carrell, 
Brenda Carroll (BrC), Mark Cromwell (MCr), 
Bill Diffin, Melinda Droege, Max Fuller, 
Joseph A. Grzybowski, Richard Gunn (RGu), 
Larry Hancock (LHa), Berlin Heck, Angie 
Holt, Mark Howery, Alex James, Jo Loyd, Jeri 
McMahon, Kurt & Sharon Meisenzahl, Steve 
Metz, Paul Miliotis, Mark Peterson, Justin 
Roach OuR), Dan Robinson, Ron Sheppard, 
Jana Singletary QSi), Lou & Mary Truex, 
Eivind Vamraack, Jerry Vanbebber, Antionette 
Verne, Jimmy Woodard. O 


Joseph A. Grzybowski, 715 Elmwood Drive 
Norman, Oklahoma 73072, (j_grzybowski@sbcglobal.net) 
W. Ross Silcock, P. 0. Box 57, Tabor, Iowa 51673 
(silcock@rosssilcock.com) 


116 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


Texas 



Eric Carpenter 
Mark W. Lockwood 
Willie Sekula 


R ainfall, mainly the lack thereof, contin- 
ues to impact birds and other wildlife 
throughout the state. The season began 
with much (89%) of Texas experiencing nor- 
mal conditions. But even with some heavy and 
much appreciated rainfall in central and east 
Texas in early September courtesy of Tropical 
Storm Hermine, the fall season ended with 
large swaths (70%) of the state abnormally dry 
or worse, with 15% of the area under Severe 
Drought conditions or worse. With the hot, 
dry summer fading into a fall with little rain 
and no significant cool fronts, birding seemed 
only average for the most part. 

Conspicuous in their abundance were the 
widespread arrivals of Winter Wren, Brown 
Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and even 
an eastward invasion of Anna’s Humming- 
birds. Starting with the rarities uncovered by 
the extra coverage from the Rio Grande Valley 
Birding Festival in early November, the sea- 
son ended with a flurry of exciting birds, in- 
cluding the state’s third Tufted Flycatcher 
found in Big Bend National Park. 

The fall season also brought the loss of War- 
ren M. Pulich. Warren was a twenty-year mem- 
ber of the Texas Bird Records Committee, an 
authority of the birds of North-Central Texas, 
and producer of the seminal fieldwork on 
Golden-cheeked Warblers. He was a mentor to 
many, and his influence on Texas birds and 
birdwatchers will live on for years to come. 

WATERFOWL THROyCH FRIGATEBIRD 

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks have expand- 
ed throughout ne. Texas in the past five years, 
now known in 30 of 40 counties, and they are 
perhaps no longer noteworthy. A large pres- 
ence was detected again this season, with re- 
ports from numerous locations (m.ob.), ex- 
tending into Bowie. An impressive concentra- 


tion of 255 Wood Ducks was at L. Sam Ray- 
burn, Angelina 25 Aug (DW). An excellent 
find was a male Eurasian Wigeon at Pecan 
Grove Park, Grayson 30 Nov (tJLu). Unusual 
for n.-cen. Texas, a Cinnamon Teal visited 
John Bunker Sands Wetlands, Kaufman 6 Nov 
(GC, RR, BSt). The only inland Surf Scoter 
was one on L. Bastrop, Bastrop 25 Nov (BrF). 
The least expected of the scoter species in the 
Trans-Pecos, 2 White-winged Scoters visited 
Tornillo Res., El Paso 14 Nov (ph. JP). A Black 
Scoter was on Tornillo Res., El Paso 30 Oct 
followed by another there 28 Nov QP)- Seven 
male Black Scoters flying by San Bernard 
N.W.R., Brazoria 19 Nov QA, JWi) made a 
nice count. Village Creek Drying Beds, Tar- 
rant hosted a Long-tailed Duck 14-27 Nov 
(EW, m.ob.). Single Red-throated Loons were 
at L. Texoma Denison Dam, Grayson 24 Nov 
(|Lu) and at Balmorhea L., Reeves 26 Nov-7 
Dec (ML, MR). Inland Pacific Loons were 
near Canyon Park, Canyon L., Comal 14 Nov 
(BD) and at Holiday Marina, L. Tawakoni, 
Van Zandt 15 Nov (RKi). No longer seen in 
great numbers on the U.T.C., Horned Grebes 
enjoyed a strong showing, with 22 at 
Anahuac N.W.R., Chambers 20 Nov (DwL), 7 
at Warren L., Hams 21 Nov (MAu), and an- 
other 26 in Baytown, Hairis 26 Nov (DDi, 


HS). Easterly Western Grebes include singles 
at White Rock L., Dallas 1 Nov+ (STi, m.ob.), 
L. Bastrop, Bastrop 25 Nov (BrF), Braunig L., 
Bexar 25 Nov (AnH), and L. Throckmorton, 
Throckmorton 26 Nov (RR). Six Western 
Grebes on L. Meredith, Hutchinson 25 Nov 
(BP) was a good count for the Panhandle. 


Least Grebes seemed to have retreated some- 
what after the previous winter’s cold tempera- 
tures, though small numbers remain on the n. 
edge of their range. A pair successfully nested 
at Shipp L., Bastrop, with 4 young present 21 
Sep (BG, m.ob.). 

A Cory’s Shearwater seen s. of Bob Hall 
Pier, Nueces 25 Aug provided a rare land- 
based observation of this normally pelagic 
species QoM)- Only a very rare inland visitor 
before Hurricane Ike in the fall of 2008, 
Brown Pelicans continue to have a presence 
in many areas of the state. Notable finds were 
3 on Granger L., Williamson 15 Aug (TFe), 
one on L. Murvaul, Panola 6 Sep (RS), anoth- 
er on L. Wichita, Wichita 10-16 Sep (m.ob.), 
and the most northerly at L. Meredith, 
Hutchinson 21-25 Nov (BP). The Trans-Pecos 
also had wandering Brown Pelicans, with one 
on Balmorhea L., Reeves 25 Nov (MEa, ME) 
and a regional high of 6 on McNary Res., Hud- 
speth, plus one on Tornillo Res., El Paso 28 
Nov OP)- Over 100 Magnificent Frigatebirds 
at San Leon, Harris 1 Oct (SMe) made an un- 
precedented count for so late in the season. A 
Magnificent Frigatebird over Lady Bird L., 
Austin, Travis 20 Nov (ph. CD, JBa) must 
have been an incredible sight. Its appearance 
some 240+ km inland so late in the season 


and without any accompanying weather 
event defied explanation. 

HERONS THROUGH RAPTORS 

An American Bittern was a surprising find at 
L. Stamford, Haskell 4 Sep (AnH). A Least Bit- 
tern along the river at Rio Grande Village, Big 



This late adult female Magnificent Frigatebird cruised a few times over Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas 20 November 2010; 
the bird vras not obviously associated with any storm system. Photograph by Chris DuCharme. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


117 


TEXAS 




Hook-billed Kites are very local residents along portions of the Rio Grande in 
southern Texas. Two discovered at Los Ebanos Preserve 1 2 November 2010 
(here) provided a rare Cameron County record. Photograph by Terry Fuller. 


Golden Eagles are irregular fall and winter visitors to the Upper Texas 
Coast. That region enjoyed four different individuals in fall 2010, in- 
cluding this immature over Smith Point, Chambers County 29 October. 
Photograph by Joseph Kennedy. 

Bend N.E, Brewster 6 Oct (MFl) was certainly 
late as well as unexpected. Quite a bit farther 
nw. than expected was a Little Blue Heron 
near Tulia, Swisher 17 Sep (BP). Eighteen Tri- 
colored Herons at John Bunker Sands Wet- 
lands, Kaufman 15 Aug (m.ob.) was an im- 


pressive number for n.-cen. 
Texas. An imm. Reddish Egret at 
Iron Bridge Park, Belton L., Bell 
29 Aug (ph. RP) may very well 
have been a different individual 
than the one found nearby in 
Jun. A White Ibis at Skeen Playa, 
Lynn 12 Sep (ph. AnH) was just 
the 3rd for the South Plains re- 
gion. Wandering Glossy Ibis in- 
cluded one at John Bunker Sands 
Wetlands, Kaufman 15 Aug 
(m.ob.), another at the Ft. Bliss 
sewage ponds, El Paso 25 Aug 
(ph. BZ), and one at Keystone 
Heritage Park, El Paso 12 Sep 
(ph. JP). Impressive inland 
counts of Roseate Spoonbill were 
68 at Southside W.T.R, Dallas 5 
Sep (RR) and 79 at John Bunker 
Sands Wetlands, Kaufman 9 Oct 
(GC, DDC, DeL, RR, CR); one at 
McNary Res., Hudspeth 28 Aug 
QP) was unusual for far w. Texas. 
Rather late, 6 O- 1 - Wood Storks 
were still along Old Port Isabel 
Rd., Cameron 15 Nov (fide MG). 

The Smith Point Hawkwatch, 
Chambers reported its lowest seasonal 
total of raptors 15 Aug-15 Nov (JOt, 
LV, JA), mostly attributable to unfavor- 
able weather conditions. As is the 
norm in recent years, up to 4 Turkey 
Vultures were present in se. El Paso 
through the end of the season QSp); 
the species is absent after Oct else- 
where in the Trans-Pecos. Northerly 
wandering Swallow-tailed Kites in- 
cluded one along the S. Sulphur R., 
Hopkins 27 Aug (LS) and 3 in se. Dal- 
las 5 Sep (DH, CR, m.ob.). The White- 
tailed Kite pair at Rio Bosque Wetlands 
Park, El Paso stayed through the peri- 
od OSp); other notables were 2 near 
Plainview, Hale 21 Aug (AnH), one 
near Becton, Lubbock 22 Aug (CCa), 
and another s. of Marfa, Presidio 12 
Sep (BZ). A Common Black-Hawk at 
Cibolo Creek 11 Sep (BZ) made for a 
good Presidio record. A Short-tailed 
Hawk was studied over Chihuahua 
Woods Preserve, Hidalgo 7 Aug (ph., 
IMG). A late Swainson’s Hawk was in 
Waller 20 Nov (ph. EE, MEa). Golden 
Eagles made a strong showing on the 
U.T.C. Single imms. were noted at Smith Pt., 
Chambers 29 Oct and 4-5 Nov (ph. JKe, Smith 
Point Hawkwatch). Another was in the Beau- 
mont area, Jefferson 8 Nov (CCo), and there 
were sporadic sightings in early Nov near 
Sabine Woods, Jefferson (jiclcJWh). 


RAILS THROUGH JAEGERS 

Perhaps a local breeder was a King Rail at John 
Bunker Sands Wetlands, Kaufman 15 Aug 
(m.ob.). Three Purple Gallinules at Hunstville 
S.P 16 Oct made a high number for Walker 
(LS, BN, CHa, BV). An exceptional count of 
367 Common Moorhens was tallied at John 
Bunker Sands Wetlands, Kaufman (GC). One 
of few sightings for the Pineywoods, 2 Sand- 
hill Cranes were near the n. side of L. Sam 
Rayburn, San Augustine 20 Oct (RS). 

An American Golden-Plover at the Junction 
Wastewater Ponds, Kimble 1-2 Oct (ph. RHe) 
was a rare fall find for the Edwards Plateau; 2 
lingered at Progresso Sod Earm, Hidalgo 7-10 
Nov (DI, SF). A Piping Plover on the L. Sam 
Rayburn flats at Attoyac, San Augustine 12 Sep 
(DW, TR) was one of very few recent sightings 
in e. Texas. As many as 78 Mountain Plovers 
e.-se. of Knippa, Uvalde 13 Nov+ (MH) was 
encouraging. The Granger L. population was 
once again hard to find, with only a small 
group of 14 n. of the lake in Bell 13 Nov-i- (RP, 
m.ob.). Late was a Solitary Sandpiper at Smy- 
er Playa, Hockley 21 Nov (SB, JDa, AvH, JN). 
Rare but regular in the Trans-Pecos, 2 Semi- 
palmated Sandpipers were at Ft. Bliss, El Paso 
25 Aug (BZ). Two Dunlins in Gray 6 Aug (BP) 
were on the early side, as was one at Rollover 
Pass, Galveston 7 Aug (SGr, JB), though the 
latter was likely a summering bird. Four 
Short-billed Dowitchers put in an appearance 
in w. Bastrop 16 Aug (BrF), while 3 stopped by 
Temple, Bell 2 Sep (ph. RP). Somewhat unsea- 
sonable was an American Woodcock in far nw. 
Austin, Travis 31 Aug (PF); another at Clapp 
Park, Lubbock 15 Nov+ (CCa, AnH) was the 
5th for the South Plains. Easterly Red-necked 
Phalaropes included 2 at Brazoria N.W.R., 
Brazoria 16-19 Sep (GL, m.ob.), 2 at Port 
Aransas, Nueces 21 Sep (BrF, MR), and one at 
La Sal del Rey, Hidalgo 14 & 30 Oct (DJ). 
More unexpected were single Red Phalaropes 
at La Sal del Rey, Hidalgo 30-31 Oct (ph., tDJ 
et al.) and another near Port Isabel, Cameron 
15 Nov (ph., tScC). 

A first-cycle Black-legged Kittiwake lin- 
gered near the Belton L. dam. Bell 20-23 Nov 
(RHa; ph. tRP). Not to be outdone, n. Texas 
hosted another at White Rock L., Dallas 20-24 
Nov (ph., tCR; BSt). Single juv. Sabine’s Gulls 
were noted at Tornillo Res., El Paso 10 Sep 
(BZ), McNary Res., Hudspeth 23 Sep (BZ), L. 
Tawakoni, Hunt 25 Sep (RKi), and L. Texana, 
Jackson 2 Oct (BrF). An ad. seen at L. Sam 
Rayburn, Angelina 27 Sep (ph. DW) provided 
a very rare e. Texas record. In addition, an ad. 
was seen flying up Padre Island N.S., Kleberg 
10 Nov (JoM). A first-cycle Little Gull visited 
Hagerman N.W.R., Grayson 28 Nov (ph., 
tDJ). A juv. Laughing Gull hung out at Ft. 


118 


NORTH AMERICAN BIROS 


TEXAS 



Rarely detected on migration, a Black-capped Vireo at Lake Ransom Canyon, 
Lubbock County, Texas 28 August 2010 made the first record for the South 
Plains region. Photograph by Craig Carver. 



Sage Thrashers are known to wander in the fall but rarely reach eastern parts 
of Texas, where this one was found at Smith Point, Chambers County 13 Octo- 
ber 201 0. Photograph by Joseph Kennedy. 


Hancock Res, Hudspeth 6-23 Sep OR BZ); the 
same or another was at nearby McNary Res. 
10 Oct (BZ). An impressive 8370 Franklin’s 
Gulls were seen leaving L. Sam Rayburn, An- 
gelina at daTO 27 Oct (DW). One at L. Mered- 
ith, Hutchinson 13 Nov (BP) was late for the 
region. The only California Gulls reported 
were an ad. at Keystone Heritage Park, El Paso 
23 Nov (JP) and a first-cycle bird at Balmorhea 
L., Reeves 26 Nov (ML). A first-cycle Thayer’s 
Gull was at Hagerman N.W.R., Grayson 20 
Nov (MR). An impressive 11 Lesser Black- 
backed Gulls were in coastal Brazoria 12 Sep 
(JK). Farther down the coast, an ad. was at 
Port Aransas, Nueces 28 Sep QoM), while 
“Sam” returned for a 10th winter to Port O’- 
Connor, Calhoun 29 Nov (BrF). A first-cycle 
Lesser was present at White Rock L., Dallas 1 1 
Nov-^ (CR, m.ob.), and a first-cycle Great 
Black-backed Gull was at the s. jetty of Port 
Aransas, Nueces 11 Nov (ph., tJoM). 

A Bridled Tern at Calaveras L., Bexar 7-8 
Sep (She, MR, WS) was a refugee from Trop- 
ical Storm Hermine. Two Common Terns were 
at L. Six, Lubbock (ph. CCa, StC), while 650+ 
were encountered on Mustang I., Nueces 2 
Oct (JoM). A Parasitic Jaeger in LaPorte, Har- 
ris 19 Nov roosted at the same park for at 
least the next two days (ph. SMe et al). 

PIGEONS THROUGH WOODPECIERS 

Single Common Ground-Doves in Nacog- 
doches 24 Oct (DW, RT) and Henderson 18 
Nov (ph. JBo) were good finds for e. Texas; 2 
at San Bernard N.W.R., Brazoria 11 Aug QaK) 
could have been early migrants or perhaps lo- 
cal nesters. A brilliant male Ruddy Ground- 
Dove of the nominate subspecies visited Es- 
tero Llano Grande S.E, Hidalgo 10-11 Nov 
(ph., tJDu, m.ob.). Rarely detected in fall, 
single Black-billed Cuckoos were at Sabine 
Woods, Jefferson 29 Aug (fide JWh), at 
Lafitte’s Cove, Galveston 12 Sep (ph. DMc), 
and at Rosehill Cemetery, Corpus Christi, 
Nueces 6 Sep (ph. MR, ShC, WS). A Groove- 
billed Ani seen sporadically around 
Marathon, Brewster 10-24 Oct (ph. HT, MY) 
was the first in the Trans-Pecos away from Big 
Bend N.P. in many years; another near Flo- 
resville, Wilson 26 Nov (AnH) was late. A 
rather late Flammulated Owl was in the 
Chisos Mts., Big Bend, Brewster 20 Oct (ph. 
JBe, RM). A tally of 6 BurrovAng Owls in Refu- 
gio 27 Oct was notable, considering the de- 
cline of the species QoM). Late nighthawks 
included 2 Lessers at Lafitte’s Cove, Galveston 
3 Nov (]R), another at High I., Galveston 30 
Nov (WB), and a Common at Whispering 
Pond, Lubbock 15 Nov (SB, AvH). A Common 
Poorwill was a surprise find in residential 
Pharr, Hidalgo 2 Oct (AWi). A Chaetura swift 


seen at Rio Grande Village, Big 
Bend N.P., Brewster 6 Oct was not 
identified to species (MFl). 

A Green Violetear made a stop 
near Ratcliff, Houston 18-19 Sep 
(ph., tBB). Broad-billed Hum- 
mingbirds were in evidence this 
fall, ’vith 3 in El Paso (JKi, JP, 

BZ), one in Houston, Harris 20 
Oct-20 Nov (ph. PSe et al), an- 
other in Raisin, Victoria 21 Nov 
(BO), and one in Live Oak 12 
Nov-h (GB, ph. BRo, JoM). A 
White-eared Hummingbird lin- 
gered at the Davis Mts. Resort, Jejf 
Davis until 17 Sep (tKB). A Buff- 
bellied Hummingbird present 
near L. Austin, Travis 3-8 Sep was 
noteworthy (EF). Records of Vio- 
let-crowned Hummingbird con- 
tinue to increase, with one in El 
Paso 30-31 Oct (ph., tBZ) and 
another at the Davis Mts. Resort, 

Jeff Davis 8 Nov-i- (ph., tMEa; 

ME). A Blue-throated Humming- 
bird lingered in the Davis Mts. 

Resort, Jeff Davis 17 Sep-1 Oct 
(KB); another was present on 
South Padre I., Cameron 16-17 
Nov (ph. ScC). A Magnificent 
Hummingbird visited an El Paso 
yard 7 Oct Oha), while another 
made a rare s. Texas visit in Live 
Oak 9-11 Nov (GB). Bryan band- 
ed 83 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the 
cen. Trans-Pecos, with peaks 15 Aug-1 Sep 
and 1 1 Sep-4 Oct. In the Trans-Pecos, Black- 
chinned Hummingbird is accidental and poor- 
ly documented in winter, with most departing 
the region by mid-Oct; of interest was a hatch- 
year female banded in Marathon, Brewster 10 
Nov+ (CO, KB). Anna’s Hummingbird en- 
joyed a banner invasion year in cen. Texas, 
with 6 reported starting 25 Oct from Blanco, 
Dewitt, San Saba, and Uvalde (m.ob.). Other 
noteworthy sightings included singles in 
Smith 30 Nov (ph. MB) and at the Quintana 
N.B.S., Brazoria 27 Nov+ (RW, ph. GL). An ad. 
female Costa’s Hummingbird returned to the 
Christmas Mts., Brewster 17 Oct-i- (tKB, CO), 
where it had been banded the year before. A 
Broad-tailed Hummingbird in Houston, Harris 
6-10 Sep (WR) was the 2nd earliest ever for 
the Upper Texas Coast, while one in Canyon, 
Randall 6 Nov (MoS) was late for that loca- 
tion. A Green Kingfisher along Alamito Cr., 
Big Bend Ranch S.P. 8 Sep (ph. ML) was just 
the 3rd for Presidio, while one at Rio Grande 
Village, Big Bend N.E, Brewster 25 Nov-i- (ML 
et al.) was more expected. As many as 4 
Downy Woodpeckers wandered southwest- 


ward to Uvalde this fall (MH). Rare for the 
Lower Rio Grande Valley were single North- 
ern Flickers at Weslaco, Hidalgo 17 Oct and 
South Padre I., Cameron 7-15 Nov (m.ob.). 

FLYCATCHERS THROUGH SWALLOWS 

The bird of the season was a Tufted Fly- 
catcher discovered at Daniel’s Ranch in Rio 
Grande Village, Big Bend N.P., Brewster 21 
Nov (ph., tMVW), the same location as the 
first U.S. record in 1991. It was enjoyed by 
countless birders through the end of the peri- 
od (t, ph. m.ob.). A very late Olive-sided Fly- 
catcher was present on South Padre 1., 
Cameron 10-15 Nov QDu et al.). A Greater 
Pewee was regularly seen at Roselawn Ceme- 
tery in McAllen, Hidalgo 26 Nov+ (CTL, t, 
ph. m.ob.). West of its range, an Alder Fly- 
catcher was below L. Kemp, Baylor 5 Sep 
(AnH). An extremely late Willow/Alder Fly- 
catcher, believed to be a Willow, was studied 
at El Paso, El Paso 14 Nov (BZ). After a sum- 
mer of no sightings, a Buff-breasted Flycatch- 
er was detected in the Davis Mts. Preserve, Jeff 
Davis 11 Sep (ph., tRKo). An Ash-throated 
Flycatcher seen at L. Sam Rayburn, Angelina 
27 Oct (DW) provided a rare Pineywoods 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


119 


TEXAS 



Away from the Trans-Pecos region, Townsend's Warblers are irregular, mostly 
rare visitors in Texas. This female on Galveston Island, Galveston County 28 
August 2010 provided the earliest fall record for the Upper Texas Coast. Pho- 
tograph by Jim Stevenson. 


record. One at Chapman Ranch 3 Oct was at 
an unexpected Nueces location (BrF); another 
at L. Buchanan, Llano 21 Nov (TFe) was lin- 
gering later than usual. A Great Kiskadee was 
in Lubbock, Lubbock 27-30 Nov (SB et ah). 
Five Couchs Kingbirds injunction, Kimble in 
early Aug, with one lingering until 21 Aug 
(RHe), are indicative of the species’ expan- 
sion. Another was on the Edwards Plateau 
near Lago Vista, Travis 29 Sep (CSe). A West- 
ern Kingbird in Harrison 20 Aug (LP) was no- 
table for ne. Texas. 

A Black-capped Vireo at L. Ransom Can- 
yon, Lubbock 28 Aug (ph. CCa et al.) was a 
hrst for the South Plains. A late Yellow-throat- 
ed Vireo was in Smith 16 Oct (LP). A 
Plumbeous Vireo was seen in Friona, Parmer 
19 Sep (AnH), while one hung around in an El 
Paso yard 14 Nov-5 Dec QP)- A Red-eyed 
Vireo in Amarillo, Potter 17 Oct (STh) was 
noteworthy; most records in that region are 
from the spring. A Yellow-green Vireo was in 
Blucher Park, Corpus Christi, Nueces 25 Sep 
(AC, MC). Two Pish Crows reported in Collin 
25 Sep (LBr) provided evidence that the 
species’ range continues to expand. A Chi- 
huahuan Raven seen near Petronila 6 Aug 
(BrP) provided a very rare Nueces record, while 
2 in sw. La Salle and one in se. Dimmit 4 Nov 
were nearer to more expected locales (BrP). A 
Purple Martin at Ft. Bliss, El Paso 10 Sep (BZ) 
provided a very rare county record, while one 
at Laguna Atascosa N.W.R., Cameron 10 Nov 
(DI, SF) was late. A Violet-green Swallow was 
at Estero Llano Grande S.P., Hidalgo 9 Nov (ph. 
CWo). A Bank Swallow at Port Bolivar, Galve- 
ston 20 Nov (AWo,JR, KP) provided the latest 
fall record for the Upper Texas Coast. Evidence 
of the recent range extension into the Piney- 
woods, 2 Cave Swallows were at L. Sam Ray- 
burn, San Augustine 6 Sep (DW). An amazing- 
ly high count of nearly 20,000 Barn Swallows 
came from John Bunker Sands Wetlands, Kauf- 
man 18 Sep (GC, EW). 


TITMICE THROUGH 
WARBLERS 

Four Tufted Titmice found along 
Commission Cr., Lipscomb 24 
Oct (BP) provided a first Panhan- 
dle report. Red-breasted 
Nuthatches were widespread in 
the n. two-thirds of the state, and 
singles at Paradise Pond 30 Oct 
and Pollywog Pond 26 Nov pro- 
vided rare Nueces records QoM). 
Seven Brown Creepers was a high 
count at Port Aransas, Nueces 29 
Oct QoM). A Rock Wren was in 
Wilbarger 8 Nov (AnH). Winter 
Wrens were reported in above- 
average numbers in South Texas 
and the Trans-Pecos, with up to 4 in the Low- 
er Rio Grande Valley between 14 Oct and 17 
Nov (m.ob.) and 3 in the cen. Trans-Pecos 
from 20 Nov+ (ML, SWi). Sedge Wrens on the 
w. edge of their range included singles at Ben- 
jamin City L., Knox 8 Nov (AnH) and at Laji- 
tas, Brewster 21 Nov (MFl). Golden-crowned 
Kinglets also made an impressive showing in 
the state, with the first reports coming from L. 
Sam Rayburn, Angelina 9 Oct (DW, PB et al.) 
and Kleb Woods, Hams 14 Oct (FC). Most 
unexpected, 7 were tallied at Port Aransas, 
Nueces 29 Oct QoM)- 

Twelve Western Bluebirds at Muleshoe 
N.W.R., Bailey 13 Nov (LBu) was a solid 
count. Veery is rarely detected in the fall, so 
singles in Sabine Woods, Jefferson 5 Sep QMa) 
and Corpus Christi, Nueces 6 Sep (WS) were 
unusual. A Wood Thrush near Kress, Swisher 
18 Oct (ph. MAn) was likely a first county 
record. Lingering Wood Thrushes included 
singles at Utley, Bastrop 11 Nov+ (BrF), L. Bas- 
trop, Bastrop 25 Nov (BrF), and Quintana, Bra- 
zoria 26 Nov (RW). One of the highlights of 
the season was a Rufous-backed Robin at Wes- 
laco, Hidalgo 17 Nov-1 Dec (ph., tDDa et al.) 
and another at Laguna Atascosa N.W.R., 
Cameron 21 Nov+ (t, ph. m.ob.). A congrega- 
tion of 1000 American Robins at Houston, 
Hands 5 Sep QHi, DDi) was notable for the 
date. A window-killed Varied Thrush was 
found at High L, Galveston 2 Oct (ph. VTB). A 
Sage Thrasher at Smith Pt., Chambers 13 Oct 
(ph. JKe) was a rare coastal find; a Brown 
Thrasher at Midland, Midland 8 Oct (DMe, 
JMe) was likewise unexpected. A Sprague’s 
Pipit at Chapman Ranch, Nueces 3 Oct (BrF) 
was a bit early, while one near Muleshoe 
N.W.R., Bailey 23 Oct (DHa) was far west. 
Phainopeplas noted farther e. than expected 
included singles at Sunday Canyon, Randall 12 
Sep (CM) and near Artesia Springs, Dimmit 24 
Oct (MW). Single Chestnut-collared 
Longspurs wandered s. to the Lower Rio 


Grande Valley at Laguna Atascosa N.W.R., 
Cameron 14-16 Oct (TL, ph. EB et al.) and Pro- 
gresso Sod Earm, Hidalgo 10 Nov (ph. Dl, SE). 

Blue-winged Warblers were well represent- 
ed in n.-cen. Texas, with singles at Bob 
Woodruff Park, Collin 26 Aug (PA), elsewhere 
in Collin 31 Aug (VE), and at White Rock L., 
Dallas 1 Sep (CR). A Golden-winged Warbler 
in Austin, Travis 25-28 Sep (KAn et al.) was a 
rare find. Westerly Tennessee Warblers includ- 
ed singles at Aspermont, Stonewall 4 Sep 
(AnH) and Eriona, Banner 19 Sep (AnH). An 
Orange-crowned Warbler at Lufkin, Angelina 

26 Sep (LD) provided a new early arrival date 
for the Pineywoods. Likewise, a Nashville 
Warbler in Angelina 30 Aug (DW) provided a 
record-early fall arrival date. Single Virginia 
Warblers were noted in nw. Texas at Denver 
City, Yoakum 29 Aug (AnH), Lubbock, Lub- 
bock 17 Sep (CCa), and Friona, Banner 25 Sep 
(BP). A Yellow Warbler lingered at L. Jackson, 
Brazoria 13 Nov+ (RW). An early Chestnut- 
sided Warbler was at Sabine Woods, Jefferson 

27 Aug OHa), while one at Lubbock, Lubbock 
11 Sep (AnH) was unexpected. Cape May 
Warblers migrate mostly e. of Texas in fall, so 
singles were rarities at Corpus Christi, Nueces 
8 Sep (MC), Austin, Travis 25 Sep (KAn, PSu), 
and Sabine Woods, Jefferson 16 Oct 

SMa, JHa). Two Black-throated Gray Warblers 
were unusual in San Antonio, Bexar 21 Oct 
(ph. LR). An early Black-throated Green War- 
bler was in Sugar Land, Fort Bend 13 Aug 
(MaS). A female Townsend’s Warbler on w. 
Galveston I., Galveston 28 Aug (ph. JSt) pro- 
vided the earliest ever fall record for the Upper 
Texas Coast. A Blackburnian Warbler in 
Nacogdoches 6 Sep (DW) was early, while one 
in Wilbarger 18 Sep (BSu, LBr, SWe) was far- 
ther w. than expected. A Yellow-throated War- 
bler at Graham, Young 26 Nov (RR) was a 
county first; another lingered at Rockport, 
Aransas 24 Nov-1 Dec OoM). A Pine Warbler 
on South Padre L, Cameron 28 Sep (DJ) was 
amazingly early so far south. Noteworthy 
Prairie Warbler finds included singles at Bel- 
ton L., Bell 8 Aug (RKo), Webberville Park, 
Travis 9 Aug (BrF), and John Bunker Sands 
Wetlands, Kaufman 28 Aug (GC, DDC, CR, 
BSt). A Palm Warbler in Angelina 27 Aug 
(DW) provided an early fall record for the 
Pineywoods, and one at Grapevine L., Tarrant 
1 Oct (SGI) made a rare local record. An imm. 
male Bay-breasted Warbler at Estero Llano 
Grande S.R, Hidalgo 26 Nov (ph. CTL, JOl) 
furnished an exceptionally late record. A 
Cerulean Warbler was a treat at Webberville 
Park, Travis 12 Sep (BrF), and an Ovenbird 
was in Lubbock, Lubbock 17 Sep (CCa). An 
unusual concentration of 3 Northern Wa- 
terthrushes was documented at Big Bend’s 


120 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


TEXAS 


Boot Spring, Brewster 27 Aug (ph. ML); one 
was late near Buescher S.P., Bastrop 25 Nov 
(BrF). A Louisiana Waterthrush at Houston’s 
Bear Creek Park, Harris 13 Nov (BN, BV, LS) 
was very late. A MacGillivray’s Warbler was on 
South Padre L, Cameron 24 Aug (ScC). A 
Hooded Warbler was noted in Wilbarger 19 
Sep (BSu, LBr, SWe). An early Canada Warbler 
was at Dickinson, Galveston 6 Aug (KAc); one 
at Sabine Woods, Jefferson 23 Oct QA et al.) 
was late. A Red-faced Warbler at Boot Spring, 
Brewster 6 Aug (DB, ML) was in the expected 
window for migrants. A Rufous-capped War- 
bler was a great find near Crystal City, Zavala 
30 Oct+ (ph., tBRa et al). 

TOWHEIS THROUGH FINCHES 

An Eastern Towhee was at Coleman Park, Ter- 
ry 13 Nov (StC). Four Clay-colored Sparrows 
at Quintana, Brazoria 16 Oct (DDi, GL) made 
a high fall total. Single Brewer’s Sparrows near 
Claytonville, Swisher 18 Oct (AnH), near 
Tahoka, Lynn 21 Nov (AnH, RKo), and at Lub- 
bock, Lubbock 25 Nov (StC) were on the e. 
edge of the species’ migration corridor. A Lark 
Bunting on the Katy Prairie, Waller 10 Oct 
(BH, ph. CWi et al.) was farther e. than ex- 
pected. A Baird’s Sparrow was seen near Ft. 
Davis Jeff Davis 30 Oct (ML). A Nelson’s Spar- 
row at John Bunker Sands Wetlands, Kaufman 
1 Oct (GC, RR) provided a first county record. 
An early Song Sparrow was at Dimmitt, Castro 
19 Sep (AnH); a White-crowned Sparrow near 
Cibolo, Guadalupe 2 Sep (ph. SSc) was very 
early, as was one at Quintana, Brazoria 6 Oct 
(JKe). A highlight for the Trans-Pecos was a 
Golden-crowned Sparrow near Fort Davis, Jejjf 
Davis 5-9 Nov (ph., tCH; TH, ML). A Dark- 
eyed Junco made it s. to South Padre I., 
Cameron 30 Nov (ph. BW). 

A Scarlet Tanager in Port O’Connor, Cal- 
houn 25 Aug (BrF) was early, while a female 
Summer Tanager in Friendswood, Harris 26 
Nov (DMc) was tardy. Western Tanagers were 
in evidence on the Upper Texas Coast, with up 
to 6 scattered around Brazoria, Chambers, and 
Jefferson 9-30 Oct. Inland singles were noted 
at Ft. Hood, Bell 28 Sep (RKo, GE) and L. Bas- 
trop, Bastrop 25 Nov (BrF). An imm. Crim- 
son-collared Grosbeak was at Weslaco, Hidal- 
go 12-18 Nov (TRG, ph. m.ob.), and a female 
was in Pharr, Hidalgo 13 Nov+ (AWi, t, ph. 
m.ob.). We assume the Pyrrhuloxia along 
Longenbaugh Rd., Harris 20 Nov QCS) was 
the same individual seen in the two previous 
winters there. A Blue Grosbeak at San Luis 
Pass, Galveston 20 Nov (HS) was on the late 
side, and a female Indigo Bunting at Coleman 
Park, Terry 13 Nov (StC) was very late for the 
South Plains. A Varied Bunting was at Hueco 
Tanks S.P., El Paso 1-21 Aug (fideJaM), where 


the species is suspected of nesting. A female 
Painted Bunting at Anahuac N.W.R., Cham- 
bers 27 Nov (ph. CSh) was quite late. Huge 
flocks of Dickcissels were noted in various 
Nueces and San Patricio locations 5-6 Aug 
(BrF), with a combined total of 8500+ esti- 
m.ated. A Yellow-headed Blackbird at L. Sam 
Rayburn, Angelina 1 1 Aug (DW) added to the 
short list of fall records from the Pineywoods. 
The status of Great-tailed Grackle in e. Texas 
is still evolving, so one flying southward over 
L. Sam Rayburn, Angelina 27 Oct (DW) is 
noteworthy. Two Bronzed Cowbirds in Little- 
field, Lamb 30 Aug (AR) provided a late record 
for the South Plains. A count of 110 Bronzed 
Cowbirds in Houston, Hanis (BT, SSm) was 
high for the Upper Texas Coast. An early Bal- 
timore Oriole was in Beaum.ont, Jefferson 9 
Aug (HJ), and w. singles were at Lubbock, 
Lubbock 23 Sep (ph. StC) and Rio Grande Vil- 
lage, Brewster 6 Oct (MFl). A Scott’s Oriole at 
South Padre I., Cameron 26 Sep (ScC, ph. PW) 
was unexpected. 

Red Crossbills are known to nest in the up- 
per elevations in the Davis Mts., at least irreg- 
ularly; 2 females with up to 7 begging young 
were at the Davis Mts. Resort, Jejf Davis 2 Aug 
(KB). Two Lesser Goldfinches were on the n. 
edge of the range at Canyon, Randall 14 Nov 
(PT). An American Goldfinch in San Augus- 
tine 27 Aug (RT, DW) was unusually early. 

Cited observers (subregional editors in bold- 
face): Keena Acock (KAc), Kenny Anderson 
(KAn), Marlin Andrus (MAn), John Arvin, Pe- 
ter Assmann, Mike Austin (MAu), Judith Bai- 
ley OBa), Becky Baker, Peter Barnes, James 
Benton 0Be)i Susan Bergeson, Gene Black- 
lock, Mike Bloodsworth, Jason Bonilla, Doug 
Booher, James Booker QBo). Erik Breden, La- 
mont Brown (LBr), Kelly Bryan, Laura Bunton 
(LBu), Winnie Burkett, Eric Carpenter (Cen- 
tral Texas: 5604 Southwest Parkway #2222, 
Austin, Texas 78735. email: ecarpe@gmail. 
com), Cameron Carver (CCa), Sheridan Cof- 
fey (She), Scarlet Colley (ScC), Fred Collins, 
Steve Collins (StC), Cody Conway (CCo), 
Greg Cook, Arlie Cooksey, Mel Cooksey, D. D. 
Currie (DDC) (North-Central Texas: 2703 
Colleen Dr., Arlington, TX 76016. email: 
ddbirder@sbcglobal.net), David Dauphin 
(DDa), Jeanne Davis QDa), Louis Debetaz, 
Drew Dickert (DDi), Bob Doe, Chris 
DuCharme, Jon Dunn (JDu), Marc Eastman 
(MEa), Maryann Eastman, Gil Eckrich, Van 
Elliott, Ed Fair, Frank Farese, Margaret Farese 
(MFa), Tim Fennell (TFe), Shawneen 
Finnegan, Tad Finnell (TFi), Mark Flippo 
(MFl), Brush Freeman (BrF), Bert Frenz (East 
Texas: 221 Rainbow Dr., #12190, Livingston, 
TX 77399-2021. email: bert2@bafrenz.com). 


Paul Fushille, Raul Garza, Steve Glover (SGI), 
Bernd Gravenstein, Steve Gross (SGr), Mary 
Gustafson, Chuck Hamilton (CHa), Richard 
Harmon (RHa), Dan Harvey, Dave 
Hawksworth (DHa), John Haynes (JHa), 
Mitch Heindel, Rhandy Helton (RHe), Antho- 
ny Hewetson (AnH) (Northwest Texas: 4407 
36th St., Lubbock TX 79414. email: ter- 
rverts@yahoo.com), Aveline Hewetson (AvH), 
Jim Hinson (JHi), Carol Hobby, Tom Hobby, 
Bob Honig, David Irons, Dan Jones, Harrison 
Jordan, Joe Kennedy O^e). Joseph Kennedy, 
James Kessler QaK). Richard Kinney (RKi), 
John Kiseda 0^1). Rich Kostecke (RKo), Tom 
Langsehied, Greg Lavaty Jody Lawrence QLa), 
Cin-Ty Lee (CTL), Dwayne Liteer (DwL), Dell 
Little (DeL), Mark Lockwood, Roel Loera, Ja- 
son Luscier (JLu), John Mariani (JMa), Steve 
Mayes (SMa), David McDonald (DMc), Jane 
McFarland (|aM), Jon McIntyre (JoM), Cindy 
Meader, Stennie Meadours (SMe), Don Merritt 
(DMe), Joann Merritt OMe), Rey Munoz, Jane 
Nagy, Bruce Neville, Carolyn Ohl, Jerry Oid- 
enettel QOl), Brent Ortego, Jennifer Ottinger 
OOt), Greg Page, Jim Paton (Trans-Pecos: 
4325 Boy Scout Lane, El Paso, TX 79922. 
email: jnpaton@att.net), Barrett Pierce, Randy 
Pinkston, Kevin Poling, Linda Price, Bob Rasa 
(BRa), Ross Rasmussen, Janet Rathjen, Martin 
Reid, Lora Render, Thomas Riecke, Will Riss- 
er, Anona Roberts, Bron Rorex (BRo), Chris 
Runk, Laura Sare, Rick Schaefer, Susan Schae- 
zler (SSc), Mark Scheuerman (MaS), Monty 
Schoenhals (MoS), Willie Sekula (South 
Texas: 7063 Co. Rd. 228, Falls City TX 78113- 
2627. email: wsekula@COPPER.NET), Paul 
Sellin (PSe), Chuck Sexton (CSe), Colin 
Shields (CSh), Howard Smith, Stephanie 
Smith (SSm), John Sproul (JSp),Jim Steven- 
son QSt), Bob Stone (BSt), J.C. Stornier QCS), 
Paul Sunby (PSu), Brady Surber (BSu), Bryan 
Tarbox, Susan Thompson (STh), Susan Ti- 
holiz (STi), Peggy Prosper, Heidi Trudell, 
Robert Truss, Leah Vader, Betty Vermeire, Matt 
VanWallene (MVW), Ron Weeks (Upper 
Texas Coast: 110 Indian Warrior, Lake Jack- 
son, TX 77566. email: ronweeks@sbcglobal. 
net), Stephen Welborn (SWe), Beverly Welch, 
Marion Welsh, Paul Wentzel, Ed Wetzel, John 
Whittle OWh), Allen Williams (AWi), Cathy 
Willis (CWi), Jennifer Wilson OWi), Stu Wil- 
son (SWi), David Wolf, Adam Wood (AWo), 
Chris Wood (CWo), Matthew York, Barry 
Zimmer. C 


Eric Carpenter, 5604 Southwest Parkway #2222 
Austin, Texas 78735 (ecarpe@gmail.com) 

Mark W. Lockwood, 402 East Harriet Avenue 
Alpine, Texas 79830 (mark.lockwood@tpwcl.state.tx.us) 
Wiilie Sekula, 7063 County Road 228 
Falls City, Texas 78113-2627 (wsekula@copper.net) 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


121 


Colorado & Wyoming 



WYOMlNe 


COLORADO 

Colorado Springs 


,Moote Vista 
N.WR 


Two Buttes Res.m 
Baca 
County 


Tony Leukering 
Lawrence S. Semo 
Bill Schmoker 


T he Region experienced an overall warm 
fall season, with Augusts average tem- 
peratures characterized above normal 
in both Colorado and Wyoming. September 
saw Colorado’s temperature much above nor- 
mal (the seventh warmest in 120 years of 
record), while Wyoming’s ranked above nor- 
mal, and October saw both states’ temperature 
ranking much above normal. November final- 
ly brought some temperature relief, with both 
states ranked near normal. Statewide monthly 
precipitation rankings in the Region swung to 
either side of normal throughout the season, 
but dryness won out, with overall areas of 
drought expanding in western Wyoming and 
especially in Colorado’s Front Range and east- 
ern plains. The driest conditions were in 
southeastern Colorado, where much of the 
Arkansas River drainage ended the season in 
severe drought. 

The overall warm season facilitated linger- 
ing by many species and delayed the arrival of 
others, setting the stage for an unusual Christ- 
mas Bird Count season. Several species report- 
ed during the season had fewer than five pre- 
vious state records, with a Crested Caracara 
(Colorado’s second) breaking many hearts by 
coming to light only after it departed its four- 
day stay and a Ross’s Gull (Colorado’s third) 
bringing joy to hundreds of birders during its 
week-long tenure. In what was a good season 
for documentation of rare waterbirds, the Col- 
orado Bird Records Committee received very 
little in the way of documentation of the 
hordes of rare landbirds reported. 

Abbreviations: Big Johnson (Big Johnson 
Res., El Paso)' Chico (Chico Basin Ranch, El 
Paso and Pueblo)', Fossil Creek (Fossil Creek 
Res., Larimer); John Martin (John Martin Res., 


Bent)', Loudy-Simpson (Loudy-Simpson Park, 
Craig, Moffat). “West Slope” denotes locations 
w. of the Rockies. Due to reporting biases, all 
locations can be assumed to be in Colorado 
except that each Wyoming location is noted as 
such the first time it appears in text. Because 
most rarities are seen by multiple observers, 
only the observer(s) initially finding and iden- 
tifying the bird are identified here. Undocu- 
mented reports from Colorado of Colorado 
B.R.C. (C.B.R.C.) review species (<www.cfo- 
link.org>) that are deemed probably correct 
are summarized at the end of this report. 

GEESE THROUGH GREBES 

A juv. Brant (subspecies unreported but prob- 
ably Black) was a nice find at Jumbo Res., 
Sedgwick 28 Nov (CW). The native swan 
count in the Region included five reports of 1 1 
Trumpeters and 20 reports of 105 Tundras. 
The Tundra Swan high count of 50 occurred, 
as expected, in Wyoming, at Ray L., Fremont 1 
Nov 0- Downham); of these, one had been 
banded in Jul 2006 near Kotzebue Sound, 
Alaska. This high number of swan reports is at 


least partially due to increasing visits to 
mountain lakes by Colorado birders in fall, 
with this season’s reports from Moffat, Routt, 
and Jackson providing data on some relatively 
lightly birded sections of the state. Wood 
Duck reports from lightly birded locales came 
from Moffat, Routt, and Phillips, but a female at 
North L., Las Animas 13 Nov (MP) was of in- 
terest both for the montane site and the late- 
ness of the record. A male Eurasian Wigeon 


graced Fossil Creek 5-7 Nov QBr, CW); the 
species is now nearly annual in Colorado. A 
male Cinnamon Teal in basic plumage was not 
only early in that plumage but was very late 
(or incredibly early) at Fossil Creek 22 Nov 
(ph. NK). The 56 Barrow’s Goldeneyes (20 ad. 
males, 23 ad. females, 13 juvs.) in the Car- 
bondale area, Gaifield/Eagle 28 Nov (TM, K. 
McConnell, L. Vidal) provided the high count 
for the season and maintained the locale’s title 
as the epicenter of Regional winter distribu- 
tion of the species. Six Hooded Mergansers at 
Craig, Moffat were early for the area 21 Aug 
(FL, CDo). A Red-breasted Merganser was at 
3049 m at Overland Res., Delta 8 Nov (D. Gar- 
rison) for what possibly constitutes a Region- 
al high-elevation record. 

In such a spectacular loon flight, it seemed 
odd that neither of the two truly rare species 
were reported this fall. Three of four reports 
of Red-throated Loon (5 birds; a high num- 
ber) this fall were documented: 2 (ad. and 
juv.) at Ghatfield Res., Douglas/Jefferson 10-28 
Nov GW) and singles at Pueblo Res., 
Pueblo 15-17 Nov (ad.; BKP) and Cherry 


Creek Res., Arapahoe 16-20 Nov (juv.; GW, 
JR, CW). This fall saw an incredible 23 re- 
ports of Pacific Loon (of 25 individuals) from 
10 counties. Highlights include the summer- 
ing bird at McIntosh Res., Boulder present un- 
til 30 Sep; 3 between Elevenmile Res. and 
Spinney Mountain Res. 2 Nov (JD); and sin- 
gles at Lathrop S.P., Elueifano 30 Oct-7 Nov 
(ad.; P&PN); Trinidad Res., Las Animas 30 
Oct (age unreported; MP, BSt); and Grand 



Colorado's second Crested Caracara tarried 4-7 (here 7) October 2010 at the Chalk Bluff Fish Hatchery, Chaffee County. Photo- 
graph by Stephanie Thompson. 


122 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


COLORADO & WYOMING 


r A General occurrence patterns of scoters in fall in the Region have been dominated in recent years by mountain lakes, 
Ofiparticularly the three large reservoirs in South Park, Park (Antero, Elevenmile, and Spinney Mountain), with spillover 
to water bodies in adjacent high-elevation counties. Once this phenomenon was discovered by several groups of Colorado 
birders, we have often asked ourselves why they should be found in higher absolute and relative abundances at a few light- 
ly birded montane reservoirs than as compared to well-visited reservoirs in the Front Range urban corridor, where the lion's 
share of other rare and localized waterbird groups (e.g., rare loons, alcids, and gulls) is recorded. 

We still lack a good answer to the question, but this fall saw an incredible hit of scoters away from South Park and envi- 
rons (from 10 Oct-f), while South Park itself experienced a very poor showing. We received 21 reports of 34 Surf Scoters from 
13 counties (including one at Woodruff Narrows Res., Uinta, Wl 16 Oct [D. DiTomasso]), with South Park scoring only two of 
these reports (7 individuals). The count of this species has been nearly this high in South Park alone in previous fall seasons. 
The five reports of 7 White-winged Scoters in four counties — including 2 birds at JTL Ponds, Hatrona, Wi 23 Nov (B. Rick- 
man, CM) and 2 in South Park — was a bit low, particularly compared to the incredible count of reports of Black Scoter, which 
is typically the rarest scoter species in the Region. Eleven reports of Black Scoter this season included 17 birds in nine coun- 
ties, with none in South Park. As is typical, most were imm./female-types, with only a single ad. male of each species record- 
ed during the season. The six reports of 7 total Long-tailed Ducks in five counties, including 2 at Rifle Gap Res., QaiHeld 28 
Nov-i- (TM, FL, V. ZerbI), was a fairly typical fall count and provided interesting counterpoint to the season's scoter flight. 


Junction, Mesa 26-27 Nov (ad.; CDe, BW). As 
for Pacific Loon, the number of Common 
Loons (45 reports of 128 individuals in 16 
counties) found this fall was quite high. The 
13 reports (13 birds, seven counties) of Red- 
necked Grebe made for another great water- 
bird showing this fall. The high count of 
Western Grebes at Standley L., Jefferson this 
fall, made on 12 Oct, was of “only” 1416 (LS). 

CORMORANTS 
THROUGH PHALAROPES 

A Double-crested Cormorant at Rifle, Garfield 
was very late locally on 13 Nov (TM) as was 
a Great Egret at Yant’s Puddle, Natrona, WY 
18 Oct (CM). A white-morph Reddish Egret 
was a usually-distant-but-much-appreciated 
addition to many a birder’s Bent list 18 Aug-8 
Oct at John Martin (D. Nelson). After years of 
greatly reduced numbers of Cattle Egrets mi- 
grating through Colorado’s e. plains, the past 
few seasons have shown a bit of a rebound, 
with the area around Lower Latham Res., 
Weld leading the way. This fall, 65 were pres- 
ent there 11 Sep (P. Plage), while 170 were 
counted there eight days later (T. Smart). 

Two Mississippi Kites (ages unreported) 
over downtown Colorado Springs, El Paso 26- 
27 Aug QD) provided additional grist for 
wondering if/when the species will be found 
breeding in the county, and a juv. 9-12 Sep at 
Prewitt Res. (NE, JR, GW) provided a very 
rare record for Washington and at an odd time 
of year (most out-of-range Colorado reports 
come from spring). Nine single Broad-winged 
Hawks made for a good fall showing 15 Sep-7 
Oct. However, the juv. at Grand Junction 25 
Sep (CDe, BW) was the only one away from e. 
Colorado and, more importantly, was one of 
only 4 for which ages were reported. In a great 
fall season in Colorado, the star was probably 


the Crested Caracara at the Chalk Bluff Eish 
Hatchery, Chaffee 4-7 Oct (S. Thompson, ph. 
R. Hancock). Unfortunately, word about this 
2nd state record did not reach the birding 
community until shortly after the bird had ap- 
parently moved on, the main local birder hav- 
ing been on vacation at the time. A Merlin at 
Crow Valley was early 21 Aug QBr). A juv. 
gray Gyrfalcon was nicely photographed be- 
fore dawn 28 Nov near Como, Park (JK) but 
was never seen again; Colorado still has few- 
er than 20 records. 

Sandhill Cranes heard overhead 19 Aug 
(M. Maeda) and seen on the ground 20 Aug 
(M. Goff) in w. Weld caused a bit of puzzle- 
ment, as both locales are away from the 
known county breeding site and the dates are 
well in advance of typical arrival time of mi- 
grants. Single American Golden-Plovers were 
found in each of four plains counties 11 
Sep-9 Oct, and 2 Mountain Plovers were a tad 
late 8 Oct ne. of Kit Carson, Cheyenne (MP). 
Quite an odd sight was the American Avocet 
standing on the ice of totally frozen McIntosh 
Res. 25 Nov (B. Zilly). Solitary Sandpipers are 
surprisingly scarce migrants on the West 
Slope, so the singles at Freeman Res., Moffat 
19 Aug (PL), Stagecoach Res., Routt 19 Aug 
(LA), and Craig 24 Aug-12 Sep (CDo) are of 
interest. The slack presented by the usual 
Boulder observers recording nocturnal mi- 
grant Upland Sandpipers overhead was taken 
up by an observer in Lamar, Prowers, who 
heard 10+ going over 4 Aug (DAL). Singles of 
Long-billed Curlew 31 Aug and Marbled 
Godwit 13 Sep were at high elevation at De- 
Weese Res., Cusier (RMi), while the only 
Ruddy Turnstone reported this season was a 
juv. at Jumbo Res., Sedgwick 27 Aug (NE, JK, 
GW). Seven reports of 10 Dunlins were scat- 
tered in space (five counties) and time (19-22 


Aug and 31 Oct-27 Nov). Juvenile Stilt Sand- 
pipers were out of place at Craig 24 Aug (2; 
CDo) and DeWeese Res. 25 Aug (RMi), and 
single Buff-breasted Sandpipers visited McIn- 
tosh Res. 2 Aug (CW) and near Brush, Mor- 
gan 18 Aug (DWP), the latter only the 2nd 
record of an ad. in Colorado. Photographs of 
an American Woodcock in a Henderson, 
Adams backyard in mid-Nov (fide N. Gamble) 
made their way to these editors about a 
month after the fact. Pive Regional Red 
Phalaropes made for an impressive seasonal 
tally with all four Colorado occurrences be- 
ing documented. 

GULLS THROUGH SAPSUCKERS 

Pour documented Black-legged Kittiwakes 
were reported 10-28 Nov, with the highlight 
being a juv. at Lathrop S.P, Hiieifano on the 
last date (P&PN). After last year’s abysmal 
showing, this year’s 22 reports of 42 Sabine’s 
Gulls (14 counties; 28 Aug-6 Nov) made for 
a more attractive fall in Colorado. As is typi- 
cal, the few ads. (6) arrived earlier in that pe- 
riod, with the hrst Sabine’s being an ad. on the 
West Slope at Vega Res., Mesa (A. Robin- 
song). Interestingly, the last one of the season 
was also on the West Slope, where the species 
is fairly rare, a juv. at Perch Pond, Moffat 



Getting an early start on a day of birding in South Park, 

Park County, Colorado paid off with this pre-sunrise Gyrfal- 
con atop a roadside power pole near Como 28 November 
2010. Photograph by Joey Kellner. 

(TM). Most interestingly, these West Slope 
records (the only two for the year) account 
for the very earliest and latest ever there. A 
juv. Little Gull was a superb hnd at Chatfield 
Res. 7-10 Sep (GW, JK) but was greatly 
eclipsed by the ad. Ross’s Gull at Cherry 
Creek Res. 19-26 Nov (JR, ph. GW), the 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


123 



COLORADO & WYOMING 



A homeowner thought this visitor to her Henderson, Adams County, Colorado back- 
yard on 1 5 November 201 0 was odd-looking enough to snap a few photographs and 
inquire with a birding friend as to what it was. Those efforts established the eighth 
record of American Woodcock for the state. Photograph by Lois Espeland. 


state’s 3rd record. Watchers of the pink gull 
were also able to ogle an ad. Mew Gull there 
11-28 Nov (ph. GW). The 25 reports of 35 
Lesser Black-backed Gulls spanned 15 Sep-i- 
and included a Wyoming report, 3 Nov at 
Grayrocks Res., Platte (age unreported; tMR). 

The eight reports of 15 Common Terns 
spanned 28 Aug-10 Oct and were all in e. Col- 
orado except for the last, an ad. that graced 
Navajo Res., Archuleta QBy). Oddly, in a season 
in which five jaegers were reported, none were 
identified as Pomarines. The Parasitic that ter- 
rorized gulls and terns at Big Johnson 1 1 Sep 
QD) and the juv. Long-tailed at Cherry Creek 
Res. 6-11 Sep (GW, LK) were the only two 
jaegers documented. The spread of Eurasian 
Collared-Dove continues, no doubt helped by 
the species’ capability of breeding at nearly any 
time. As example, a pair fledged young at 
Riverton, Fremont, WY about 1 Oct (T. Ax- 
thelm). The other rapidly invading dove. 
White-winged, was recorded in six counties 
this fall and is now considered resident in 
Grand Junction (LA); one was at Green River, 
Sweetwater, WY 28 Nov (E & E Linton). An 
Inca Dove at Nucla, Montrose 28 Nov (CDe, 
ph. BW) provided a West Slope first. 

A Great Gray Owl photographed along Kel- 
ly Cr., Lincoln, WY 14 Oct (T. Gorman) was 
outside of what is considered normal range; 
Colorado awaits its first. An Estes Park, 
Larimer banding station captured 45 Northern 
Saw-whet Owls this fall, 27 juvs. and 18 older 
birds (S. Rashid), A female Magnificent Hum- 
mingbird visited Tunnel Campground, w. of 
Kinikinik, Larimer 6 Aug (acc.; C. Kogler), 
while an imm. male Ruby-throated Humming- 
bird graced a Longmont, Boulder yard 22 Sep 
(acc.; BSc). More careful scrutiny of fall hum- 
mingbirds has produced not only records of 
review species such as those but also of regu- 


lar Colorado species out of 
known range, such as the 
single Black-chinned Hum- 
mingbird at Wheatridge, Jef- 
ferson 6 Sep (LS) and the 2 
even farther n. at Dixon 
Res., Larimer two days later 
(NK). An Archilochus at Fox 
Ranch, Yuma 5 Sep (TE) was 
either a Black-chinned too 
far east or a Ruby-throated 
too far west but was not seen 
well enough to determine 
species. The last Broad- 
tailed and Rufous Hum- 
mingbirds were both report- 
ed on the late date of 12 Oct 
at Franktown, Douglas (K. 
Metz). High-elevation 
Lewis’s Woodpeckers were 
near Leadville, Lake 9 Aug (TK) and Ward, 
Boulder 18 Sep (T. Wilberding, G. Matthews). 
Juvenile Red-headed Woodpeckers made their 
presence known slightly w. of normal this fall 
10 Sep-1 1 Oct, with reports of 5 in four coun- 
ties (Weld, Boulder, El Paso, and Pueblo). This 
fall saw an interesting preface to the coming 
winter’s spectacular sapsucker show in Col- 
orado. There was only one interesting report 
of Williamson’s (late 25 Nov at Durango, La 
Plata [RMo]), but nine reports of 11 Yellow- 
bellieds (8 Oct+) were scattered across e. Col- 
orado; a Yellow-bellied x Red-naped hybrid 
was noted in Fort Collins, 

Larimer (28 Sep; DAL); and 
four reports of Red-napeds 
on the e. plains 28 Sep-10 
Oct included singles at Tern- 
pel Grove, Bent 8 Oct (NE) 
and Flagler S.W.A., Kit Car- 
son 10 Oct (female; MP). 

FLYCATCHERS 
THROUGH THRUSHES 

A Hammond's Flycatcher 
was relatively far e. at Fox 
Ranch, Yuma 6 Sep (TF et 
al.); northerly Gray Fly- 
catchers were noted at Ft. 

Collins 10 Aug (DAL), Last 
Chance, Wnsliington 5 Sep 
(TF et al.), and Fox Ranch 6 
Sep (TF et al); and a Pacific-slope/Cordilleran 
Flycatcher that responded to recordings of Pa- 
cific-slope was late at Hasty Campground, 
Bent 29 Sep (MP). A wintering Black Phoebe 
along the Arkansas R. in Pueblo was first not- 
ed 1 Nov (BKP); the species is now regular in 
small numbers in the state in late fall and win- 
ter. The latest Eastern Phoebe of the season 
visited Flagler S.W.A, 12 Oct (DAL). Former- 


ly considered very rare along the w. edge of 
Colorado’s e. plains. Great Crested Flycatcher 
has been found there in numbers late Aug-late 
Sep in recent years, particularly in El Paso and 
Pueblo. This year, only one was noted, that at 
Rock Canyon, Pueblo 3 Sep (RMi), with none 
found at Chico, a recent fall hot spot for the 
species. A Cassin’s Kingbird at Dry Creek 
Basin 25 Aug (CDe, BW) provided a rare data 
point for underbirded San Miguel, while an 
Eastern Kingbird three days later n. of Glade 
L. (RMo, H. Morris, PD, E. Derven) was at rel- 
atively high elevation and in Dolores, where 
fairly rare. 

The only White-eyed Vireo this fall graced 
Dixon Res. 24 Aug-4 Sep (B. Biggertaff), and 
single Bell’s Vireos were abnormally far w. at 
Barr L., Adams 26 Aug (acc.; b. MM), provid- 
ing a first for well-birded Adams, and at Last 
Chance 29 Aug (GW, JK, LK). The seven fall 
reports of Cassin’s Vireos were shifted a bit to 
the late end of the species’ Colorado temporal 
distribution, occurring 29 Aug-10 Oct, with 
the last being on the West Slope and, 20 days 
later than the next-latest report, suspiciously 
late; might it have been a Blue-headed? Near- 
ly half the 7 fall Red-eyed Vireos were widely 
distributed across the West Slope, where fair- 
ly rare: singles at Narraguinnep Res., Mon- 
tezuma 12 Aug OBy) and Loudy-Simpson 6 
Sep and 22 Oct (both FL). A Steller’s Jay 22 
Sep and 4 Pinyon Jays the next day were at 
low elevation at Grandview Cemetery, Larimer 


(both DAL), as was a Violet-green Swallow at 
John Martin 29 Aug (MP, BSt). A Barn Swal- 
low at L. Maria, Elueifano 13 Nov (MP) was 
late. A very minor plains flight of Mountain 
Chickadees included singles at Moreno, Lo- 
gan and Akron, Washington on 3 Sep and Hax- 
tun, Phillips 2 Oct (all CW). A flock of 10 
Bushtits at Mt. Elbert Forebay, Lake 24 Oct 
(TK) just about eclipsed the elevation record 



This immature male Ruby-throated Hummingbird brightened a rainy afternoon in Long- 
mont, Boulder County, Colorado 22 September 201 0. The presence of three iridescent 
red gorget feathers helped confirm the identification. Photograph by Bill Schmoker. 


124 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



COLORADO & WYOMING 



Towering over the regular hummingbird feeder crowd was this Magnificent Hum- 
mingbird at a campsite near Kinikinik, Larimer County, Colorado 6 August 2010. 
Photograph by Connie Kogler. 


for the species. The plains flight of Red- 
breasted Nuthatch was apparently unexcep- 
tional, as we received only two reports. Con- 
versely the single report of Pygmy Nuthatch 
on the plains, at Prewitt Res., Washington 3 
Sep (CW), was exceptional. 

The only Carolina Wren reported was 
singing at Colorado City, Pueblo 21 Oct (DS). 
Two Pacific Wrens were documented, one e. 
at Last Chance 9 Oct (TD) and another in 
Larimer 15-17 Nov (A. Panjabi, DAL). We 
strongly encourage documentation of all sus- 
pected Pacific Wrens, as our understanding of 
that species’ occurrence in the Region is 
sketchy. In an incredible fall for Winter Wren 
in Colorado, we received 17 reports from nine 
counties 22 Sep-t, highlighted by 4 banded at 
Barr L. (MM); there were no West Slope re- 
ports. A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher in Boulder 10 
Nov (CN) was quite late for that far north. An 
apparently large influx of Eastern Bluebirds to 
the foothills from late Oct-t, including up to 
24 at Lathrop S.P., Huerfano 26 Nov (P&PN), 
was highlighted by birds well up into the 
foothills: 2 near Georgetown 23 Oct (TTD), a 
first for Clear Creek, and one at Wetmore, 
Custer 20 Nov (RMi). A late and out-of-place 
Wood Thrush graced a Louisville, Boulder 
backyard 15-16 Nov (tP. Hansley), while a 
male Varied Thrush was greatly appreciated 
in Colorado City 3 Nov (tDS). 

THRASHERS THROUGH FINCHES 

Single Brown Thrashers were great finds well 
up in the mts., with the individual at over 
2938 m elevation at Mt. Elbert Forebay 23 Oct 
(TK) setting a state (and world?) elevation 
record and relegating the individual at 2650 m 
at Spinney Mountain Res., Park 31 Oct QK) to 
runner-up status. A Curve-billed Thrasher at 
Red Rocks Park, Jefferson 21 Oct+ (P Lyon, M. 
Chavez) was the first of an incredible string of 
“interesting” birds found wintering this year 
at that acclaimed site; check the winter season 
S.A. feature for more details. A Sprague’s Pipit 
on Davidson Mesa, Boulder 29 Sep-3 Oct (ph. 
CN, tPG) was particularly far w. for this re- 
view species. The sole report of Bohemian 
Waxwings this season came from Jackson, 
Teton, WY 24 Nov (SP). McCown’s Longspurs 
were a bit w. of normal at Big Johnson (4) 16 
Sep (MP) and Chico (one) 12 Oct (BG), but 
very far w. at Vallecito Res., La Plata 25 Sep 
(tSA, PD), while 2 Chestnut-collared 
Longspurs were only a bit w. of normal at Mar- 
shall Mesa but still very rare for Boulder 30 
Sep (CN). Single Snow Buntings were pleas- 
antly rare and photographed n. of Wetmore 6 
Nov (RMi) and at Cherry Creek Res., Arapa- 
hoe 19-21 Nov (B. Rozinski). 

After an incredible spring warbler season. 


the fall’s tally was fairly rou- 
tine, with most “eastern” 
warbler species being found 
in roughly average numbers 
but with some interesting 
highlights. Incredibly, four 
of the season’s six reports of 
Tennessee Warbler came 
from the West Slope, where 
the species is not exactly 
common. Singles bright- 
ened Grand Junction, Mesa 
7 Aug (early; LA), Loudy- 
Simpson 14-17 Aug and 18 
Sep (both FL), and Ridgway 
Res., Ouray 15 Sep (b. SC, 

CDe). The 17 or 18 reports 
of Nashville Warbler 21 
Aug-10 Nov was a high 
number. A Yellow Warbler was late at Lamar, 
Prowers 9 Oct (DAL), whereas the only 
Chestnut-sided Warbler visited Rock Canyon 
3 Sep (BKP). An imm. male Cape May War- 
bler was banded at Chico 13 Sep (TBG). One 
of the nine reports of Palm Warbler 17 Sep-6 
Nov came from Wyoming: 22 Sep at Gillette, 
Campbell (T. Ludwick). All of the Palms re- 
ported were identified as Westerns or were 
presumed, because of timing, to be Westerns; 
Yellow Palm Warbler is of very rare late 
fall/winter occurrence in the Region. A rare 
West Slope Black-and-white Warbler (female) 
was a nice find at Loudy-Simpson 8 Sep 
(CDo, FL). A Worm-eating Warbler at Rye, 
Pueblo 11-13 Sep (DS) provided for a first fall 
record for the Pueblo area. A quarter of the 12 
Northern Waterthrush reports were away 
from e. Colorado: singles at Loudy-Simpson 
14-24 Aug (FL), DeWeese Res., Custer 21 Aug 
(RMi), and Pastorius Res., La Plata 5 Sep 
(SA). 

Both reported Eastern Towhees were docu- 
mented, with females gracing the Neldner 
yard near La Veta, Huerfano 10 Nov+ (P&PN) 
and Russellville, Douglas 19 Nov+ (U. & H. 
Kingery). Clay-colored Sparrow is quite un- 
common on the West Slope, so singles along 
the Animas R., La Plata 8 Sep QBy) and at 
Ridgway Res. 16 Sep (b. SC) are of interest. 
Field Sparrows w. of normal included singles 
at Chico 15 Sep (JD), on a private ranch in 
Lincoln 3 Oct (CW), and at Higbee, Otero 7 
Oct (NK). Two Lark Sparrows were at abnor- 
mally high elevation at Silverton, San Juan 1 
Aug-6 Sep QPy); a Lark Bunting was simply 
unexpected at Blue Mesa Res., Gunnison 1 Sep 
(CDe, BW); and 2 Savannah Sparrows were 
late at Fossil Creek 22 Nov (NK). A Le Con- 
te’s Sparrow at Table Mountain Wildlife Area, 
Goshen 3 Nov (tMR) was both rare for 
Wyoming (with two previously accepted 


records) and late. Red Fox Sparrows were 
documented from Fox Ranch 9 Oct (MP, 
tBSc), the Stulp farm, Prvwer's 20 Nov (J. 
Stulp), and the Neldner yard 30 Nov 
(P&PN). A Swamp Sparrow at Cortez, Morr- 
tezurna 10 Sep (fide CDe) was both early and 
on the West Slope, where rather rare. The 
only White-throated Sparrow reported away 
from e. Colorado was at Casper, Natrona, WY 
12 Oct (S. Scott), while Wyoming Harris’s 
Sparrows included singles nw. of Thermopo- 
lis, Hot Sprirrgs 22 Nov (V Herren) and way w. 
at Jackson 24 Nov (SP). 

A Summer Tanager, much rarer in fall than 
in spring, was late at Pueblo City Park 13 Oct 
(BKP), while a Northern Cardinal was just w. 
of normal at Flagler S.W.A. 3 Oct (CW). A 
Dickcissel just e. of Colorado City 20 Sep (BB. 
Hahn) was rare both locally and seasonally; 
the state’s breeders seem to simply melt away 
after summer. Two Eastern Meadowlarks 
(probably Lilian’s) were documented well to 
the w. at Colorado City 17 Oct (DS); this sub- 
species has been found breeding in the coun- 
ty previously. A Great-tailed Grackle was at 
high elevation at Silverton 6 Sep OBy). a 
first-year male Orchard Oriole was very late at 
Fox Ranch 9 Oct (B. Maynard, ph. BSc). Bal- 
timore Orioles at Last Chance 30 Aug (JR) 
and Crow Valley Campground, Weld 3 Sep 
(CW) were w. of normal. Two Purple Finches 
visited Sundance, Crook, Wyoming 2 Nov 
O&JA), while a single brown bird was at Col- 
orado City the next day (TDS). Six Red Cross- 
bills of Type 5 were at low elevation at Grand- 
view Cemetery 31 Oct (DAL), and three re- 
ports of White-winged Crossbill came from 
nw. Colorado in Moffat and Routt. A Common 
Redpoll photographed at Trinidad, Las Ani- 
mas 13 Nov (T. Crisler) was nearly in New 
Mexico. Lesser Goldfinches are quite rare on 
the Colorado plains, so individuals well e. at 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


125 


COLORADO & WYOMING 


Lamar 6 Sep (DAL) and Bonny Res., Yuma 3 
Oct (CW) are of note. Evening Grosbeak 
staged a mini-incursion onto the plains of the 
Region, with reports from Pueblo 1 Aug (K. 
Carragher) and at Mead, Weld (DAL) and 
Sundance Q&JA), both 2 Nov. 

Undocumented rarities: The following re- 
view species were reported in the period from 
Colorado with no documentation: Brant 
(Denver); Eurasian Wigeon (Routt); Red- 
throated Loon (Denver); Least Bittern (Bent); 
Whooping Crane (Morgan); Black-legged Kit- 
tiwake (Huerfano)', Little Gull (Larimer)', 
Laughing Gull (Washington); Mew Gull (Ara- 
pahoe, Larimer); Great Black-backed Gull 
(Arapahoe, Pueblo); Arctic Tern (Weld); Long- 
tailed Jaeger (Bent); unidentified jaeger (Boul- 
der); Lesser Nighthawk (Douglas, Montrose); 
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Larimer); Blue-headed 
Vireo (Baca, 3 in Bent, Phillips, Prowers, 2 in 
Pueblo, Washington, 2 in Yuma); Philadelphia 
Vireo (Adams, Washington, Weld); Pacific 


Wren (Jefferson); Sedge Wren (Kit Carson, Lo- 
gan); Varied Thrush (Douglas); Sprague’s Pip- 
it (Baca, 12 in Logan, Phillips, 2 in Washing- 
ton, 13 in Yuma); Blackburnian Warbler (Do- 
lores, Kit Carson, Larimer, 2 in Washington); 
Pine Warbler (Larimer); Connecticut Warbler 
(Weld); Mourning Warbler (Washington); 
Canada Warbler (Washington); Baird’s Spar- 
row (Baca, Yuma); Henslow’s Sparrow (Bait); 
Le Conte’s Sparrow (Phillips, Washington); 
Nelson’s Sparrow (Bent, Phillips); Red Fox 
Sparrow (Bent, Cheyenne, El Paso, Prowers); 
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Boulder, Jefferson, 
Weld); Smith’s Longspur (Bent, Washington) 

Cited observers (subregional editors in bold- 
face): Jean and Jen Adams, Susan Allerton, 
Larry Arnold, Jim Beatty QBy; sw. Colorado), 
Josh Bruening, Stephanie Coates, Todd 
Deininger, Peter Derven, Coen Dexter (CDe, 
w.-cen. Colorado), Craig Dodson, John 
Drummond, Norm Erthal, Doug Faulkner 
(Wyoming), Ted Floyd, Peter Gent, Brian 


Gibbons, Tim Kalbach, Joey Kellner, Nick Ko- 
mar, David A. Leatherman, Forrest Luke (nw. 
Colorado), Meredith McBurney, Tom Mc- 
Connell, Chris Michelson, Rich Miller (RMi), 
Robert Morris (RMo), Polly 62: Paul Neldner, 
Christian Nunes, Susan Patla, Brandon K. 
Percival (se. Colorado), Mark Peterson, Mike 
Resch, Joe Roller, Bill Schmoker (BSc; Col- 
orado Front Range), Larry Semo (ne. Col- 
orado), Dave Silverman, Brad Steger (BSt), 
Glenn Walbek (n.-cen. Colorado), Cole 
Wild, Brenda Wright. Many other individual 
observers contributed information to this re- 
port but could not be acknowledged here; all 
have our appreciation. O 


Lawrence S. Semo, SWCA Environmental Consultants 
295 Interlocken Boulevard, Suite 300 
Broomfield, Colorado 80021 (lsemo@swca.com) 

Tony Leukerirtg, 102A Delaware Avenue 
Villas, New Jersey 08251 (greatgrayowl@aol.com) 

Bill ScKmoker, 3381 Larkspur Drive 
Longmont, Colorado 80503 (bill@schmoker.org) 


Idaho & Western Montana 



David Trochlell 


T he Region experienced unusually mild 
fall weather until the last ten days of 
November, when an Arctic front ush- 
ered in bitterly cold temperatures and signifi- 
cant snowfalls, conditions more typical of 
mid-January. Despite some notable fall 
holdovers and exciting vagrants, the overall 
fall bird migration picture would be best de- 
scribed as rather uneventful. 

WATERFOWL THROUGH TERNS 

A Bewick’s Swan documented in Garden Val- 


ley 19-21 Nov (ph. SF) made only the 2nd re- 
port of this Eurasian subspecies in Idaho. The 
Eurasian Wigeon tally was subpar, with only 
one reported in Idaho. A total of 7 Surf and 7 
White-winged Scoters represented an average 
fall season count. A Black Scoter, not annual 
in the Region, was in Fremont 13-15 Nov 
(p.a., tCW) and would provide Idaho’s 7th 
record. The only Long-tailed Duck sighting 
was in Canyon, ID 28 Nov+ (CH). Always 
rare, a Red-throated Loon discovered in 
Owyhee 26 Nov+ (p.a., ph., TJC) would pro- 
vide Idaho’s 9th record. Reports of only 4 Pa- 
cific Loons 10 Oct-29 Nov represented a be- 
low-average fall count. 

Three Great Egrets in Lake, MT 10 Aug 
(BR) were notable, but one at Ennis L., MT 6 
Oct (EH) represented only the 2nd report for 
Latilong 38. Cattle Egrets are unexpected in 
w. Montana, so 3 at Harrison L., MT 21 Oct 
(ph. LAH) made an outstanding find. A rare 
Green Heron was at Marsing, ID 3 Oct-29 
Nov (m.ob.), where one has been document- 
ed for at least the past two years. If accepted, 
a Broad-winged Hawk at Craters of the Moon 
N.R 30 Aug (TMM) will provide Idaho’s 2nd 
fall record away from Lucky Peak, Idaho 
B.O.’s banding station at Lucky Peak near 
Boise (hereafter, L.P.). Two Gyrfalcons were 
reported 21-22 Nov, representing an average 
fall tally. Always uncommon, single American 


Golden-Plovers were identified in Montana’s 
Park 15 Sep and Madison 1-6 Oct (EH) and in 
Idaho’s Canyon 1-4 Nov QC)- The latter re- 
port almost certainly established the Region’s 
record-late date. Also record late by 14 and 11 
days, respectively, were a Sanderling at Warm 
Springs, MT 9 Nov (AB) and 2 Long-billed 
Dowitchers at L.M. through 20 Nov (SFr, 
WT). The lone reported Short-billed Dow- 
itcher was well documented at Mann L., ID 
14 Aug (ph., tTG). 

Three Parasitic Jaegers in Lake, MT 19 Aug 
(BR) and one in Fremont, ID 7 Sep (tCW) 
made for an above-average season. Other re- 
ports of putative Parasitics originated from 
A.ER. 18-20 Sep (CT) and Idaho Falls, ID 8 
Oct (SB). Rare Long-tailed Jaegers made an 
unusually good showing in Idaho, with one in 
Boundary 11 Aug (ph., tCTr) and another in 
Ada 29 Aug-15 Sep (ph., tJC). If accepted, 
these will add to only five previously vetted 
records. The tally of rare-but-regular larids 
was fairly typical, with 6 Mew, 9 Thayer’s, one 
Lesser Black-backed, 4 Glaucous-winged, and 
3 Sabine’s Gulls reported. It is worth noting 
here that Lesser Black-backed Gull is now ex- 
pected in the Gem State and will probably be 
considered for de-listing as a review species 
by the Idaho B.R.C. Two Caspian Terns 
stopped at Ennis L., MT 1 Oct (EH), where 
they are unexpected. 


126 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


IDAHO & WESTERN MONTANA 


Unprecedented numbers of Western Scrub-Jays 
visited the Region this fall. Most notable of these 
strays was one that made it to Thompson Falls 19 Oct+ 
(JG), representing Montana's 2nd record ever. Idaho sight- 
ings hailed from Bayview 24 Oct-1 Nov (ph., tCM), Boise 
21 Nov-t- (ph., tWC), and Benewah 23 Nov+ (tAH). De- 
scriptions of these jays indicated the coastal californica 
subspecies group, which has been making far-reaching 
range extensions throughout the Pacific Northwest since 
the 1970s. 

HUMMINGBIRDS 
THROUGH FINCHES 

Now rare but annual in autumn, Anna’s Hum- 
mingbirds were detected at Kalispell, MT 26 
Sep-4 Oct (ph. JW), Boise, ID 1-22 Nov (ph. 
HW), and Marsing, ID 15 Nov+ (KG). The 
only report of an extralimital Bewick’s Wren 
was from Missoula, MT 14 Nov (BW). Espe- 


cially rare away from s. Idaho, single North- 
ern Mockingbirds strayed to the Ronan, MT 
area 6 Oct (BR) and e. of Lewiston, ID 14 
Oct-20 Nov (MH). 

A Tennessee Warbler captured at L.E 17 
Aug (ph., tJC) furnished Idaho’s 10th verified 
record and the 6th from this location. An ex- 
citing first for n. Idaho and Idaho’s 9th record 
was a Magnolia Warbler photographed in 
Lewiston 18 Sep (ph., tTG). Latest ever in 
Idaho was a Northern Parula in Boise 25 
Nov-t- (tJC) that garnered the Gem State’s 3rd 
fall record. Idaho’s 3rd Yellow-throated War- 
bler graced Boise 23 Nov-r (ph., tJC; MG). 
Tardy by about six weeks was a Western Tan- 
ager in Garden Valley, ID 21 Nov (SW). The 
fall tally of rarer Zonotrichia was lackluster, 
with only 4 White-throated, 6 Harris’s, and 2 
Golden-crowned Sparrows reported. Single 
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks in Lewiston 18 Sep 
(ph., tTG) and at L.P. 30 Sep (ph., tJC) were 


notable, as there are only hve previous ac- 
cepted fall records in Idaho. The only report- 
ed Rusty Blackbirds stopped in Helena, MT 5 
Nov (BM). A Purple Pinch detected at L.P. 21 
Sep (p.a., tJC) would be Idaho’s 6th. 

Contributors (subregional editors in bold- 
face): Andy Boyce, Steve Butterworth, Wayne 
Camacho, Kathleen Cameron, Jay Carlisle, 
Sheri Poote, Sid Prissell (SPr), Kathy Gannus- 
cio, Mary Garner, Terry Gray, Jim Greaves, Ed 
Harper, Lou Ann Harris, Audrey Hoffman, 
Mark Holmgren, Cheryl Huizinga, Bob Martin- 
ka, Mike Munts, Charles Murray, John Parker, 
Bob Rost, Shirley Sturts, Wayne Tree, Colleen 
Trese (CTr), Chuck Trost, Spencer Walters, 
Heidi Ware, Jan Wassink, Cliff Weisse, Brian 
Williams, Poo Wright-Pulliam. @ 


David Trochlelf, 2409 East N Avenue 

La Grande, Oregon 97850, (dtrochlell@frontier.com) 



New Mexico 



Sartor 0. Williams III 


A utumn 2010 brought welcome rains 
across much of New Mexico, and 
1 - jLgrasslands and brushlands responded 
with lush growth, to the extent that even “the 
rocks can’t be seen,” and setting the table for 
sparrows and other seedeaters and frugivores. 
A remarkable number of rarities were found, 
and an Eastern Whip-poor-will brought the 
state list to 536 species. 1 thank John Parme- 
ter and Bill Howe for proofreading this report. 

Abbreviations: B.L.N.W.R. (Bitter Lake 
N.W.R.); Bosque (Bosque del Apache 


N.W.R.); E.B.L. (Elephant Butte Lake); 
L.V.N.W.R. (Las Vegas N.W.R.); N.R.T. (n. 
Roosevelt migrant trap, w. of Melrose); P. O. 
Canyon (Post Office Canyon, Peloncillo 
Mts.); R.G.N.C. (Rio Grande Nature Center, 
Albuquerque); R.G.V. (Rio Grande Valley); 
R.S. (Rattlesnake Springs area, Eddy). 

WATERFOWL THROUGH CRANES 

One to 2 Greater White-fronted Geese were 
unusually early at E.B.L. 8-11 Sep (ph. DC); 2 
w. to Gatlin L. 2 Oct (T. Mitchusson) provid- 
ed a Catron first. The season’s first Tundra 
Swans were 5 at L.VN.W.R. 26 Nov (ph. NH) 
and 2 at B.L.N.W.R. 30 Nov (ph. K. & M. 
Quick). Single Surf Scoters appeared at four 
locales in early Nov: Holloman L. 5-6 Nov 
(ph. DS, NS, JP), Bluewater L. 11 Nov (ph. 
NP), E.B.L. 11 Nov (CS), and Bosque 15 Nov 
(fide CS). A female Barrow’s Goldeneye was 
on Heron L. 12 Nov (MB, NP). Late nesting 
was indicated by observation of a female Rud- 
dy Duck with 8 downy young near Parming- 
ton 2 Oct (TR). Among the few Montezuma 
Quail reports were one or more vocal at 2835 
m on Mt. Withington 7-8 Aug (WWe). Ring- 
necked Pheasants, once abundant at Seven 
Rivers W.M.A., were scarce there this season, 
apparently owing to feral hog activity (SW). 
Live Wild Turkeys (identihed as subspecies 
mexicana, Gould’s Wild Turkey) were n. in the 
Peloncillo Mts. to P O. Canyon 31 Oct (CL). 
With only about two-dozen New Mexico 


records. Red-throated Loon is a rare treat; this 
season, 2 were at Springer L. 13-19 Nov (ph. 
JO, JP, ph. NH). Single Pacific Loons were at 
Bluewater L. 31 Oct-6 Nov (CR, DK) and 
Springer L. 6-19 Nov (CR, JO, JP, NH). Note- 
worthy for Hidalgo was a Common Loon at 
Playas 1 Nov (ph. WC). A Horned Grebe was 
w. to Bluewater L. 31 Oct-6 Nov (CR, DK). 
Nicely documented were single Red-necked 
Grebes at Bosque 23 Nov QP ph. C. Marple) 
and Storrie L. 26 Nov (ph. NH). Aechmopho- 
ms grebes had a productive but late nesting 
season at Stubblefield L., where there were 44 
active nests 10 Aug (ph. MW), and at least 
five Western families with chicks and eight 
Clark’s families with chicks 22 Sep (WH); an 
ad. Clark’s with 2 begging chicks was at 
L.V.N.W.R. 6 Nov (CR). 

American White Pelicans were numerous 
in the lower R.G.V, including 1225 counted 
at E.B.L. 22 Sep (DC). A Brown Pelican land- 
ed at Lordsburg 2 Aug (ph. WC); continuing 
from summer were at least 3 in the E.B.L.-Ca- 
ballo L. area Aug-Nov (m.ob.). Bitterns con- 
tinued scarce, with an American at Bottom- 
less Lakes S.E 15 Sep (BO) and a Least at 
E.B.L. 3 Aug (DC) the only reports. Late for 
the n. was a Great Egret at Springer L. 13 Nov 
QP). A Little Blue Heron at Belen 20 Aug (D. 
Prichard) provided the only report, as did a 
Tricolored at B.L.N.W.R. 4-18 Aug QS). The 
Cattle Egret roost at Belen peaked at 470 birds 
17 Sep (DH); very late were 8 at Cochiti L. 22 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


127 



NEW MEXICO 



Seldom verified in New Mexico, this Red-throated Loon was one of two at Springer Lake, Colfax County 13-19 (here 14) No- 
vember 201 0. Photograph by Nancy E. Hetrick. 



Historically rare in New Mexico, where first verified only in 1996, this Red-necked Grebe put in a brief appearance at Bosque 
del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, Socorro County on 23 November 201 0. Photograph by Cindy L Marple. 



There are only nine previous New Mexico records for Roseate Spoonbill, none of 
them from the Rio Grande Valley, so this one at Caballo Lake, Sierra County 29 Sep- 
tember 2010 was noteworthy; another (or the same?) was seen to the north in So- 
corro County four days later. Photograph by Lisa S. Giles. 


Nov (ph. LC) and one at Bosque 26 Nov 
(CR). An ad. Green Heron was tending 3 
nestlings at B.L.N.W.R. 18 Aug (JS); one at 
Los Alamos 8 Oct (ph. G. Echave) furnished 
a local hrst. Another strong Yellow-crowned 
Night-Heron season produced single ads. at 
Las Cruces 4 Aug (DG, ph. H. Throop) and at 
the Bottomless Lakes S.P. "overflow wetlands” 


15 Sep (BO), plus single 
imms. at E.B.L. 14 Aug (CR) 
and Clovis 27 Aug (ph. JO, 
JP). A Roseate Spoonbill at 
Caballo L. 29 Sep (ph. L. 
Giles) provided a Sierra 
hrst; another (or the same?) 
n. to Bosque 3 Oct (ph. J. 
McMains) furnished a So- 
corro hrst. 

At least 2 White-tailed 
Kites were in the Bosque 
area after 31 Oct (m.ob., ph. 
J. Prudente), and one was in 
the Uvas Valley, Luna 30 Oct 
and 10 Nov (ph. DC). Notably early was an 
ad. Bald Eagle at Weatherly L. 7 Aug (DH); 
the seasons high count was 50 at Heron L. 2 
Nov (MW). Common Black-Hawk juvs. were 
at two locales in the Santa Rosa area 18 Aug 
(WWe); a migrant at Oliver Lee S.P 18 Aug 
(WWi) provided a local hrst. Rare in Dona 
Ana, a Harris’s Hawk continued at Santa Tere- 


sa 15 Aug (CR). Single Broad-winged Hawks 
were at Sumner Dam 18-19 Sep (ph. CB, ph. 
JO, ph. JB) and N.R.T. 26 Sep and 3 Oct (ph. 
JO). An ad. Gray Hawk was tending a juv. in 
Guadalupe Canyon 28 Aug (ph. CW); the last 
reported in the Black R. area, Eddy was one 21 
Sep (fide SW). Noteworthy for the R.G.V, sin- 
gle Zone-tailed Hawks were at E.B.L. Dam 12 
Aug and 4 Sep (ph. DC) and along Las Ani- 
mas Cr., Sierra 7 Aug (DC); the species nest- 
ed in the middle Animas Valley, Hidalgo, 
where an ad. and a fledgling were seen 14-15 
Aug OR WWi, JO). An early Rough-legged 
Hawk was near L.VN.W.R. 10 Oct QB). 

Virginia Rails lingering in the n. were sin- 
gles at Taos 24 Oct (CR) and Morgan L. 12 
Nov (TR); the high count was 17 at Bottom- 
less Lakes S.P. 14-15 Sep (BO). Some 30 Soras 
were at Six Mile Dam 7 Oct (SW). A Common 
Moorhen strayed to Red L., Guadalupe Mts. 
17 Sep (SW). An American Coot was found 
alive, hiding in a crack in a boulder at 2423 m 
atop Eerguson Mt. in the Burro Mts. 11 Oct 
(ph. DG). Impressive numbers of Sandhill 
Cranes visited the Pecos Valley in the vicinity 
of Roswell, peaking at 28,100 birds 10 Nov, 
most of them at B.L.N.W.R. QS). 

PLOVERS THROUGH PARAKEETS 

A Black-bellied Plover was w. to Morgan L. 
26-27 Sep (ph. TR); farther e., high counts 
were 4 at Holloman L. 1 Oct (DS) and 6 at 
Grulla N.W.R. 15 Oct QP)- An American 
Golden-Plover was at Holloman L. 1 Oct (ph. 
DS), and 3 were reported there 8 Oct (LM); 
elsewhere, singles were at B.L.N.W.R. 17 Sep 
QP) and Caballo L. 23-30 Oct (ph. DC, LM, 
ph. CW, ph. NH). Providing a local first was a 
Mountain Plover on the Armendariz Ranch at 
Hackberry Well, s. Socorro 14 Aug (C. San- 
born). Late for the n. was an American Avocet 
at Stubblefield L. 7 Nov (CR); late for the 
state were 2 at E.B.L. 29 Nov (DC). Late Less- 
er Yellowlegs were singles 26 Nov at Bosque 
(ph. LC) and E.B.L. (CR). Small numbers of 
Upland Sandpipers were detected in Union 
(DH), Quay (WWe), Roosevelt QO). Eddy 
(SW), and Dona Ana (CR) 7 Aug-5 Sep. A 
Wbimbrel discovered at B.L.N.W.R. 4 Aug Q- 
Montgomery, ph. N. Silvertson) was reported- 
ly still there 18 Aug QS)- Large numbers of 
Long-billed Curlews were noted, including 
1007 counted at Grulla N.W.R. 15 Oct (JP), 
400 near Otis 26 Oct (SW), and 325 near Lov- 
ing 18 Oct (DH). Late Marbled Godwits were 
singles at Caballo L. 2 Oct (DC) and 
B.L.N.W.R. 13 Oct QS)- Sanderlings where 
seldom reported were singles in Cuny 2 Oct 
(CR) and Grulla N.W.R. 15 Oct OR WWi). 
West to the R.G.V. were single Semipalmated 
Sandpipers at Belen 21 Aug (DK) and San An- 


128 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


tonio 4 Sep (MH). Six Western Sandpipers 
lingered at Caballo L. 30 Nov (DC). Some 
1282 Least Sandpipers were counted at Ca- 
ballo L. 27 Oct (DC). One to 4 Dunlins were 
at Morgan L. 22 Oct-27 Nov (ph. TR, MB, 
NP); 2 were at Caballo L. 20-30 Nov (DC). 
Five Stilt Sandpipers photographed at Hollo- 
man L. 23 Sep (ph. DS) were the first verified 
for Otero. A Buff-breasted Sandpiper was at 
Holloman L. 23 Sep (ph. DS) but could not be 
relocated the following week; a different one 
appeared there 4 Oct (ph. DS). A vocal Short- 
billed Dowitcher was at Holloman L. 16 Aug 
(WWi), where one was definitively pho- 
tographed 23 Sep (ph. DS), and another was 
identified by voice at Lordsburg 17 Aug (SW); 
under evaluation were 2 at Caballo L. 28 Nov 
(ph. DC). An American Woodcock made a 
brief stop at R.S. 12 Nov (SW); if accepted, 
this vrill represent New Mexico’s 12th record. 
A high 3000 Wilson’s Phalaropes were at Hol- 
loman L. 31 Aug (SW); late was one there 5 
Nov (JP). Red-necked Phalaropes were un- 
usually plentiful in Sep, including 22 at E.B.L. 

13 Sep (DC), 50 at L.YN.W.R. 16 Sep (WWe), 
100 at Holloman L. 17 Sep (CW), 146 at 
Maxwell N.W.R. 18 Sep (WH), and 270 at 
Stubblefield L. 22 Sep (WH). A Red 
Phalarope at Holloman L. 1 Nov (ph. DS) was 
joined by another 5-6 Nov (ph. DS, jP, WWi). 

Black-legged Kittiwake is rare in New 
Mexico, and most are juvs., so noteworthy 
were single ads. at Clovis 24 Sep ((JP, WWi, 
ph. JO) and E.B.L. 8 Nov (DC). Sabine’s Gull 
enjoyed another good season, with up to 4 w. 
to Morgan L. 26-27 Sep (TR), a Los Alamos 
first at Bandelier N.M. 19 Sep (ph. SF), 2 at 
Maxwell N.W.R. 18 (ph. 3¥H) & 25 Sep (ph. 
NH), up to 3 at Conchas L. 17-28 Sep (JP, JO, 
CW), plus a juv. at Sumner L. 2 Oct QP) and 
an ad. there 9 Oct 0^1 WWi). A Bonaparte’s 
Gull was w. to Tyrone 28 Nov (ph. EL). A 
first-winter Laughing Gull was at Brantley L. 

14 Aug (ph. MB, ph. NP), and a basic- 
plumaged ad. was at Springer L. 9 Oct (ph. C. 
Brozek). A Mew Gull was at E.B.L. 24 Sep 
(DC). A first-winter Lesser Black-backed 
Gull was at E.B.L. 7 Nov (ph. DC), the 5th 
consecutive year the species has appeared in 
New Mexico. On the tern front, a Least was w. 
to Bosque 14 Aug (CR), and single Caspians 
were at Sumner L. 24 Aug (LM) and Morgan 
L. 26 Sep (ph. TR). Two Black Terns were at 
the Uvas Valley playa 2 Sep (MS, JZ); a high 
205 were at B.L.N.W.R. 1 Sep (SW). Common 
Terns made a strong showing, with 2 at Mor- 
gan L. 25 Sep (ph. TR), 6 at Stubblefield L. 22 
Sep (WH), 12 at Conchas L. 18 Sep (JP, JO), 
one at Clovis 1 Oct OP JO), 4 at B.L.N.W.R. 
17 Sep QP), and up to 6 at E.B.L. 22-24 Sep 
(ph, DC). A dark-morph juv. Pomarine jaeger 


NEW MEXICO 




at LVN.W.R. 14 Nov (p.a., S. 

Santa Ana, ph. MO) will pro- 
vide a San Miguel first. An ad. 

Long-tailed Jaeger was at 
Brantley L 27 Aug (ph. JO, JP, 

SW) and again 1 Sep (SW); al- 
most three weeks later, anoth- 
er ad. passed through 
B.L.N.WR. 20 Sep (ph. JS) and 
Brantley L. 23 Sep (SW). 

A White-winged Dove pair 
was seen tending 2 juvs. n. to 
Clayton 30 Aug (DW); scarce 
in Torrance, 28 White-wingeds 
were in Fourth of July Canyon 
19 Sep (CR). Common 
Ground-Doves were scattered 
across the s., with singles in 
Guadalupe Canyon 21 Aug 
(MH), middle Animas Valley 
28 Aug (CW), near Radium 
Springs 10-11 Nov (MS, JZ), 

Las Cruces 17 Nov QD), and 
near R.S. 1 Oct (SW). The 
only Ruddy Ground-Dove 
was believed to be a male of 
the nominate subspecies at 
Slaughter Canyon 6 Sep (DH). 

The Monk Parakeet first re- 
ported near Albuquerque’s 
Alameda bridge in May per- 
sisted into the fall, where it 
maintained a nest structure in 
a yucca. (CH, MO). 

OWLS THROUGH 
FLYCATCHERS 

Flammulated Owls on the e. 
plains included singles at 
N.R.T. 9 Oct (ph. JO), at 
Boone’s Draw 10 Oct (ph. 

MB), and in s. Curry 10-23 Oct 
(ph. JL); one at Petroglyph 
N.M. 8 Oct (ph. Y. Chauvin) provided a local 
first. Noteworthy n. to the Zuni area was a 
Northern Pygmy-Owl giving a double-note 
call in Little Walnut Canyon 2 Oct OT). With 
but one certain record, Barred Owl is acci- 
dental in New Mexico; this season, one put in 
an appearance at Boone’s Draw 8-9 Sep (CB, 
MH) but was not relocated 10 Sep (CW) or 
later. Surveys for Boreal Owls located 5 indi- 
viduals in three general locales: 2 in the 
Sawmill Park area, Taos 21 Sep, 2 in the 
Apache Cr. area, Rio Arriba 19 Oct, and one in 
the vicinity of the Santa Fe Ski Area 24 Oct 
(HW et al). Single migrant Northern Saw- 
whet Owls were at N.R.T. 30 Sep (ph. JO) and 
10 Oct (ph.JO, ph. MB, LM). 

A Lesser Nighthawk roosted on cobble- 
stones in a Mesilla yard 16 Aug-21 Oct (MS, 


With only about a dozen previous New Mexico records, Buff-breasted Sandpiper is a 
prized rarity in the state; this one at Holloman Lake, Otero County on 23 September 
' was one of two found at that locale in fall 2010. Photograph by Derma Simonetti. 


k scarce migrant in New Mexico, these two Red Phalaropes were at Holloman 
Lake, Otero County 5-6 (here 5) November 2010. Photograph by Donna Simonetti. 

ph. JZ); the same or another had done the 
same during fall 2009. A Common Poorwill 
was late at P. O. Canyon 2 Nov (CL). A night- 
jar at N.R.T. 8 Oct (ph. JO, JP, WWi) was net- 
ted and measured, and several feathers were 
collected (MB); mitochondrial DNA sequenc- 
ing confirmed it as New Mexico’s first Eastern 
Whip-poor-will {fide CCW). Three Vaux’s 
Swifts were detailed at Percha 13 Oct (CB); the 
species was only recently confirmed in the 
state. A female Broad-billed Hummingbird was 
e. to Carlsbad 7 Oct (E. Pierce), the 6th con- 
secutive year a female has occurred there. Sel- 
dom found away from Guadalupe Canyon, sin- 
gle Violet-crowned Hummingbirds were n. to 
P. O. Canyon 11 Sep (CL) and e. to Las Cruces 
7 Nov (ph. J. Groves). Rare anywhere in New 
Mexico, a Blue-throated Hummingbird was in 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


129 


NEW MEXICO 



Very early, and providing a Curry County first, this Black-legged Kittiwake visited 
Clovis 24 September 2010, one of two adults found in New Mexico this season. 
Photograph by Jerry R. Oldenettel. 



One of three Varied Thrushes in New Mexico in autumn 2010, this male wandered east 
to Milnesand, Roosevelt County 4-5 (here 4) October. Photograph by Grant Beauprez. 


P. O. Canyon 23 Sep (CL); noteworthy Mag- 
nificents were singles in the Black Range n. of 
Kingston 7 Aug (DC) and at Alamo Tank, 
Otero Mesa 25 Sep (SW). Probably owing to 
abundant wildflowers, fewer Lucifer Hum- 
mingbirds were counted in P. 0. Canyon, 
where the fall peak was only 24 on 30 Aug, and 
the last was one on 28 Sep (CL). Anna’s Hum- 
mingbirds peaked at 25 in P. 0. Canyon 5 Oct, 
then declined (CL); earliest Las Cruces arrival 
was 31 Aug QD); and one was e. to Oliver Lee 
S.P 28 Oct (WWi). Up to 3 Rufous Humming- 
birds lingered in n. Las Cruces 30 Nov (RC). 
Unreported in New Mexico since 2006, an ap- 
parent Red-bellied Woodpecker was along 
Trigg Rcl, e. San Miguel 25 Sep Q. Osterhouse). 
A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was at N.R.T. 1-2 
OO), 17 (ph. NH), & 22-24 Oct QPJO). Lad- 
der-backed Woodpeckers, only recently ar- 
rived w. to the Zuni Mts. area, were persisting 


in Bluewater Gorge 27 Sep 
OT). American Three-toed 
Woodpeckers where seldom 
reported were one in the 
Manzano Mts. 1 Aug QJ) and 
at least 3 at two sites in the 
Black Range w. of Poverty 
Cr. 13 Oct-17 Nov (ph. DC). 

A vocal Eastern Wood-Pe- 
wee was at N.R.T. 8 Sep (v.r. 
CB); there are fewer than 20 
acceptable state records, 
only 5 of them in autumn. 
With only four previous 
state records. Yellow-bellied 
Flycatcher is among the 
rarest of our eastern strays; 
this season, one was exten- 
sively detailed at N.R.T. 9-10 
Sep (ph. JO, JR ph. NR ph, 
MB, ph. CW), and another 
was convincingly document- 
ed at Boone’s Draw 25 Sep 
(NR MB, CW). Late Willow 
Flycatchers were singles 
seen at N.R.T. (CR) and net- 
ted at Boone’s Draw (CW) 26 
Sep. Seldom verified in the 
e., single Gray Flycatchers 
were at N.R.T. 6 Sep (ph. J. 
Shipman) and Boone’s Draw 
18 Sep (MB, ph. CW). The 
status of Pacific-slope Fly- 
catcher continues to be an 
enigma in New Mexico; this 
season, a Cordilleran/Pacific- 
slope giving a one-note call 
in Guadalupe Canyon 28 
Aug (CW) was likely this 
species, and 2 banded at 
R.G.N.C. 20 Sep had meas- 
urements consistent with Pacific-slope (fide 
MH). Noteworthy for Curry was a Black 
Phoebe at Ned Houk Park 8 Oct QR WWi). 
Eastern Rhoebes were conspicuous from the 
R.G.Y eastward Aug-Nov; one was w. to Glen- 
wood 13-14 Nov (DH). Single Great Crested 
Flycatchers were at Boone’s Draw 18 Sep (MB, 
CW, ph. JB) and N.R.T. 25 Sep QO, MB, ph. 
CW). The state-first Tropical Kingbird pair at 
Santa Teresa was still present 15 Aug (CR), and 
at least one was there 22 Aug 0- Raton), Three 
Thick-billed Kingbirds lingered in Guadalupe 
Canyon 28 Aug (CW). Flocks of Scissor-tailed 
Flycatchers included 32 at Ute L. 25 Sep (CR), 
20 w. of N.R.T. 1 Oct OP), 12 at San Jon 6 Sep 
(BO), and 10 at Six Mile Dam 13 Oct (SW). 

SHRIKES THROUGH THRUSHES 

The earliest Northern Shrikes were 2 near 
Cimarron 16 Nov (CB) and one near Maxwell 


19 Nov OR). A Bell’s Vireo was singing n. to 
Sumner Dam 28 Aug and 4 Sep QP), and a 
bright one at N.R.T. 28-29 Aug OR SC) was 
possibly of the nominate subspecies; young 
Bell’s were begging from ads. below E.B.L. 
Dam 9 Sep (DC), while a late male was singing 
at the Gila Bird Area 28 Sep (R. Shook), and 4 
were found singing in the middle Animas Val- 
ley 3 Oct (DH). A Yellow-throated Vireo at 
N.R.T. 15-16 Oct OP, CB, ph. NH) provided 
the latest record yet for New Mexico. Close at- 
tention to vireos in the Solitary Vireo group 
found Blue-headeds at three locales, with one 
to 2 at N.R.T. on multiple dates 25 Sep-23 Oct 
OP et al., ph. JO, ph. CW, ph. NH), one at Ned 
Houk Rark 2 Oct (CR), and 3 at Boone’s Draw 
9 Oct (MB). A Philadelphia Vireo reported at 
N.R.T. 11 Oct (C. Mengeng) was relocated 15 
Oct OR ph. JO). A Red-eyed Vireo was n. of 
Watrous 16 Sep (CR), and another was at 
N.R.T. 26 Sep (ph. JO, SC, CR). A Steller’sjay 
wandered to Brushy Canyon, Peloncillo Mts. 9 
Nov (CL). A Blue Jay was w. to Santa Fe 3-22 
Nov (ph. JB); farther s., one reached Radium 
Springs 31 Oct (MS, JZ), and another was at 
La Union 30 Nov (ph. DB). Awaiting confir- 
mation are intriguing reports of up to 6 Mexi- 
can Jays in Rosedale Canyon, on the e. slope 
of the San Mateo Mts., 10 Sep and 19-20 Oct 

(DG) ; there are no previous reports from any- 
where in that area. A Black-billed Magpie was 
s. to Corrales 24 Oct (DK), where absent in re- 
cent years. Impressive for n. New Mexico were 
588 Chihuahuan Ravens near Stanley 16 Sep 

(CR) ; in the R.G.V, 3 were n. to Corrales 11 
Oct (WH). 

Cave Swallows have become increasingly 
common in rural areas near Carlsbad, e.g., 
700 in alfalfa fields e. of town 7 Oct (SW). 
Very late was a Barn Swallow at R.G.N.C. 14 
Nov (C. Davis). Noteworthy for s. Doha Ana 
was a Mountain Chickadee at La Union 16 
Nov (DB). Far e., a Pygmy Nuthatch provided 
a local first at N.R.T. 10-11 Sep OP JO, ph. 
CW). A vocal pair of Carolina Wrens was in 
the bosque s. of San Antonio 3 Sep (MH, 
CCW), and a single was near San Marcial 30 
Aug (A. Johnson); farther n., one was in the 
Sandia Mts. near Capulin Spring 18 Nov 
(WWe). “Winter Wren” sensu lato has been in- 
creasing in New Mexico for more than a 
decade, and this season saw that trend contin- 
ue, with at least 16 reported, but with the 
added post-split challenge of distinguishing 
Winter Wrens from Pacific Wrens. In the far 
w., a vocal Winter Wren was at Bluewater Dam 
6 Nov (DK), while a silent bird at Mangas 
Springs 30 Nov was thought to be a Pacific 
(DG); in the R.G.V, a vocal Winter and a vo- 
cal Pacific were at Corrales 24 Oct (DK); oth- 
ers reported as Winter Wren were singles at 


130 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


NEW MEXICO 



A rare treat in New Mexico, this Pine Warbler was at Elephant Butte Lake, Sierra 
County 1 9 November 201 0. Photograph by David J. (leary. 


Taos 24 Oct (CR, NH), Frijoles Canyon, Je- 
mez Mts. 10 Nov (ph. SF), and E.B.L. 19-24 
Nov (ph. DC), 2 in Cienega Canyon, Sandia 
Mts. 28 Nov (CW, JP), and, e. of the main 
mountain chains, singles at Valmora 6 Nov 
(CR) and Santa Rosa 27 Nov (JP), one to 2 at 
N.R.T. on multiple dates 9-22 Oct (|P, ph. JO, 
ph. NH, MH), and 2 at Tatum 22 Oct (JP, JO); 
one of uncertain species was at Holy Ghost 
C.G. n. of Pecos 24 Oct (CW). A Swainson’s 
Thrush was late at N.R.T. 10-14 Oct (MB, JO). 
Single Wood Thrashes were at N.R.T. 1 Oct 
(ph. JO, JP) and Boone’s Draw 9 Oct (MB). 
Providing a first for the e. plains, a Rufous- 
backed Robin was in s. Curry 19-22 Nov (ph. 
JL). A busy Varied Thrash season began with 
a male at Milnesand 4-5 Oct (ph. G. Beauprez, 
ph. CW, SC) followed by single females at Ca- 
ballo L. 16 Nov (ph. DC) and Corrales 28-30 
Nov (C. Lundblad, ph. V/H, CH, ph. NH). 

MIMIDS THROUGH WARBLERS 

A Gray Catbird at Taos 24 Oct (CR) was late 
for the north; Nov records included singles at 
E.B.L. Dam until 5 Nov (DC), E O. Canyon 10 
Nov (CL), R.S. 14-15 Nov (JO), and n. Las 
Cruces 25-30 Nov (RC). High count for 
Brown Thrasher was 3 at Sumner Dam 2 Oct 
QP); one to 2 others were at seven sites from 
the R.G.V eastward after 24 Sep. Scarce n. to 
Mora, a Curve-billed Thrasher was n. of Wa- 
trous 16 Sep (CR); noteworthy for n. Santa Fe 
were a Curve-billed near Santa Cruz L. 17 Sep 
(ph. CDH) and a Crissal Thrasher there 22 
Aug and 17 Sep (ph. CDH). Sprague’s Pipits 
were detected in San Miguel, Curry, Quay, 
Roosevelt, Bernalillo, Socorro, and Otero after 
26 Sep; noteworthy were singles at L.VN.W.R. 
6 Nov (CR) and at Albuquerque’s West Mesa 
31 Oct (CR), and 3 were seen at Sevilleta 
N.W.R. 16 Oct (WH). An Olive Warbler was in 
Skull Canyon, Peloncillo Mts. 27 Oct (CL); 2 
were in pinyon pines near Glenwood 30 Nov 
(DG). Among the few Lapland Longspur re- 
ports were one to 2 se. of Cimarron 16-19 Nov 
(CB, JP), one at Springer L. 26 Nov QP), and 
2 at Conchas L. 27 Nov QP)- Chestnut-col- 
lared Longspurs arrived across a broad front in 
late Sep, including 25 at Wagon Mound (DH) 
and one at Bueyeros (CR) 25 Sep, 3 at Blue- 
water L. 0T) and 2 at McAlister (CR) 26 Sep, 
and 2 at Zuni’s Tekapo 28 Sep (JT). 

A Tennessee Warbler was described at 
Maxwell N.W.R. 26 Sep (NH); on the same 
day, 2 were at Cundiyo, Santa Fe (D. Holder- 
mann). An Orange-crowned Warbler was late 
at Ute L. 26 Nov (JP). Nashville Warblers 
were much in evidence statewide; a Nashville 
that appeared to be of the nominate sub- 
species was w. to Zuni’s Blackrock 30 Sep 
QT), a presumed ridgwayi was e. to N.R.T. 14- 


15 Oct OO). Surprising was 
a Northern Parula at the 
snow-covered Taos Ski Val- 
ley 24 Oct (CR, ph. NH); 
others included singles near 
Santa Rosa 18 Aug (WWe), 

Percha 30 Oct (CW), Radi- 
um Springs 10-30 Nov (MS, 
ph. JZ), and Guadalupe 
Canyon 21 Aug (MH). Sin- 
gle Chestnut-sided Warblers 
were at Boone’s Draw 9 Sep 
(MH) and N.R.T. 30 Sep-2 
Oct (ph. JO, JP, ph. NH, 

CR). Providing a Cibola first 
was a Black-throated Blue 
Warbler in Rinconada 
Canyon near San Fidel 23 
Sep (ph. E. Andersen). A good Black-throated 
Green Warbler season found singles at N.R.T. 

9 OR JO), 17 (ph. JB, ph. NH), & 21-23 Oct 
OO, JP), at Boone’s Draw 9 (MB) & 24 Oct 
(MB), and at Alamo Tank, Otero Mesa 25 Sep 
(SW). Among the few Hermit Warbler reports 
was one e. to the Sandia Mts. 29 Aug (DK). 
Among the rarities were a Blackburnian War- 
bler at N.R.T. 26 Aug (A. Kraynik) and a Pine 
Warbler at E.B.L. 19 Nov (ph. DC). Single 
Palm Warblers were an early one at N.R.T. 17- 
19 Sep OR ph. NP, ph. CB, ph. JB) and Cabal- 

10 L. 14 Oct (D. Jenness). A first-year Black- 
poll Warbler was at N.R.T. 16 Sep (WWe), 
and the same or another was there 23 Sep OR 
ph. JO, MB, ph. CW). Among the rare-but- 
regular warblers were Black-and-whites at 
seven sites and American Redstarts at eight 
sites, all from the R.G.V eastward. A Pro- 
thonotary Warbler made a brief visit to N.R.T. 
28 Aug OR WWi). A resourceful Northern 
Waterthrush was seen catching mosquito fish 
at a pond in s. Curry 27 Sep OL). A surprising 
3 Mourning Warblers were found, one each 
at Boone’s Draw 5 Sep (MB, ph. CW, MH), 
Carlsbad 7-8 Sep (SW), and Sumner Dam 18 
Sep (CB). Single Hooded Warblers were at 
N.R.T. 18 Aug (CB) and Milnesand 1-2 Oct 
OR JO, CB). Unexpected in the Organ Mts., 
single ad. Red-faced Warblers were in Fill- 
more Canyon 10 Aug and Rucker Canyon 11 
Aug (DG). 

TOWHEES THROUGH FINCHES 

A species last reported in New Mexico in 
2006, a female Eastern Towhee was at N.R.T. 
14-17 Oct (ph. JO, m.ob.), and another fe- 
male appeared at Madrid 14 Oct (LS), where 
it remained through Nov (m.ob., ph. JB, ph. 
JO), providing a well-documented Santa Fe 
first. Scarce in the Zuni region, a Rufous- 
crowned Sparrow was at Bluewater Village 31 
Oct (CR). The only Botteri’s Sparrow away 


from the middle Animas Valley was one near 
Rodeo 15 Aug (RW). A late Clay-colored 
Sparrow was at La Union 29 Nov (ph. DB). 
From one to 6 Field Sparrows were at N.R.T 
on various dates 1 Oct-3 Nov OR JO, MB, 
CR). A high 8 Baird’s Sparrows were on Otero 
Mesa 14 Oct (ph. CW, MB); elsewhere, singles 
were at Ramon 22 Sep (SW) and Ladder 
Ranch 30 Oct (WWe). Single reddish Fox 
Sparrows were in s. Curry 25 Nov (ph. JL) 
and N.R.T 9 Oct QO)'. single slate-colored 
birds were on Mt. Sedgewick 26 Sep QT) and 
in Zuni’s Alamosa Canyon 2 Oct QT). Note- 
worthy Swamp Sparrows were one at Santa Fe 
19 Oct QB) and local firsts at Lake Valley 10 
Nov (ph. DC) and Tyrone 14 Nov (EL). A 
Harris’s Sparrow lingered at N.R.T. 10-20 Oct 
(ph. MB, ph. JO, ph. NP), and another was at 
Clayton L. 25 Nov (DW). Unexpectedly early 
was a Pink-sided Junco in the Manzano Mts. 
1 Aug (ph. JJ). Far n. of known range, and 
providing a Socorro first, was a Yellow-eyed 
Junco on Mt. Withington, San Mateo Mts. 26 
Aug (WWe) and 10 Sep (DG); surveys of 
known territories in the Burro Mts. 19 Sep, 
however, found none (DG). 

A Scarlet Tanager was at N.R.T. 9 Oct OR 
ph. JO, WWi). Northern Cardinals nested 
along Tierra Blanca Cr., s. of Hillsboro, where 
ads. and juvs. were seen on several dates dur- 
ing the season (ph. DC); in the ne., 2 were at 
Ute L. 25 Sep (CR). A Pyrrhuloxia was n. in 
the R.G.V. to Tome 13 Nov (CR). The only 
Rose-breasted Grosbeak reports were a male at 
N.R.T. 3 Oct OO) and a female there 21 Oct 
(ph. JO). At least one and possibly two pairs of 
Lazuli Buntings nested s. to Tierra Blanca Cr., 
Sierra, where males were feeding fledglings 8- 
28 Aug (ph. DC). An ad. male Varied Bunting 
was tending 3 fledglings in Rattlesnake 
Canyon, Eddy 2 Sep (ph. HW). A female 
Painted Bunting was at Cerrillos 21 Sep (LS). 
Dickdssels made a good showing, primarily in 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


131 



NEW MEXICO 


Sep but with an early one at Rodeo 15 Aug 
(RW) and the latest at Percha 2 Oct (CW); 
noteworthy were one in Alamo Canyon, Je- 
mez Mts. 16 Sep (ph. SF), 5 at N.R.T. (ph. 
CB), and 7 at Holloman L, 17 Sep (CW, MB), 
and a high 11 at Boone’s Draw 18 Sep (CW). 
A female Rusty Blackbird was w. to San Isidro, 
Sandoval 4 Nov (R. Gracey, ph. R Trine). A 
young male Baltimore Oriole was at N.R.T. 5 
Sep QO, ph. CW), and another was there 16 
Sep (WWe); an ad. male at Boone’s Draw 8-9 
Sep (ph. CB, MH) was associating with a pos- 
sible female Baltimore. Very late was a male 
Scott’s Oriole in P. 0. Canyon 9 Nov (CL). 

A few rosy-finches reached Sandia Crest by 
21 Nov (JP), and by 26 Nov a three-species 
flock of 30 was present (CW). Cassin’s Finches 
where seldom reported were 4 at Grants 6 Nov 


(DK), one in the Los Pinos Mts. 16 Oct (WH), 
and one e. to the Bell Ranch, e. San Miguel 28 
Oct (MM). Far-flung Red Crossbills included 8 
e. to the Bell Ranch 28 Oct (MM) and up to 11, 
including juvs., in the Organ Mts. 27 Aug 
(DG). Among the late-breeding Lesser 
Goldfinches were ads. feeding fledglings at 
Madrid 25 Oct (LS) and a fledgling begging 
from ads. there 7 Nov (LS). Early was an Amer- 
ican Goldfinch s. to Radium Springs 23 Aug 
(MS, JZ), as were 4 s. to Tyrone by 5 Sep (EL). 

Initialed observers: Jonathan Batkin, Matthew 
Baumann, Dan Belcher, Charles Black, Rick 
Castetter, William Cavaliere, Linda Chittum, 
David Cleary, Steve Collins, John Douglas, 
Stephen Fettig, David Griffin, Charles D. Hath- 
cock, Charles Hayes, Nancy Hetrick, Michael 


Hilchey, William Howe, James Joseph, David 
Krueper, Eugene Lewis, Carroll Littlefield, 
James Lofton, Martin MacRoberts, Larry Mal- 
one, Matthew O’Donnell, Jerry Oldenettel, 
Bruce Ostyn, John Parmeter, Nicholas Peder- 
son, Tim Reeves, Christopher Rustay, Cather- 
ine Sandell, Lawry Sager, Jeffrey Sanchez, Mar- 
cy Scott, Donna Simonetti, Nancy Stotz, John 
Trochet, Hira Walker, Mark Watson, Richard 
Webster, Donald Weidemann, Steve West, 
William West, Christopher C. Witt, William 
Wittman, Cole Wolf, James Zabriskie. O 


Sartor 0. Williams III 

Division of Birds, Museum of Southwestern Biology 
University of New Mexico 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131 
(sunbittern@eartliiink.net) 


I Arizona 



Lee’s Powell/Glen Canym 


Grand Canyon 


Many 

Farms 


vCamerwi 


Ragslaff' 


f Dam Dam 


dxike Havasu 


Prescott 


Parker Dam 


. Theodore 
'Roos^ell L- 


Phoenix* ^ — 
^ - --"-rw Riv 


Smt^ . 
Carlos L 


Dudleyvili6> 


''a Rivet 


Uucson \'?jVVlllcox 

.Sonc|" 
pnia Sis'll Vga 


Organ Pipe 
Cactus N.M. 
Arivaca 


■ 

V Whitewater 


California 


DrawW.A. 


Mark M. Stevenson (Non-passerines) 
Gary H. Rosenberg (Passerines) 


I ncreased coverage of the Lower Colorado 
River Valley this season led to multiple in- 
teresting reports, including Arizona’s first 
Little Gull. Another state first arrived in the 
form of a Sedge Wren at Pena Blanca Lake, 
which also saw successful nesting by Least 
Grebes. In the midst of populous greater 
Phoenix, the Glendale recharge ponds proved 
very attractive to rarities. Moving southward 
from an area where they were intentionally 
introduced to destroy Salt Cedar, Tamarisk 
Leaf Beetles arrived in Cameron; the ultimate 
effects of that controversial introduction re- 
main to be seen. 


Abbreviations: A.B.C. (Arizona Bird Commit- 
tee), B.T.A. (Boyce Thompson Arboretum 
S.P.), B.W.D. (Bill Williams Delta, L. Havasu), 
G.R.P. (Glendale recharge ponds), H.R.P. 
(Hassayampa River Preserve), G.W.R. 
(Gilbert Water Ranch), L.C.R.V (Lower Col- 
orado River Valley), M.C.W. (Morgan City 
Wash, Maricopa), N.I.R. (Navajo Indian 
Reservation), Sweetwater (Sweetwater Wet- 
lands, Tucson), Whitewater (Whitewater 
Draw W.A.) 

WATERFOWL THROUGH JAEGERS 

Cackling Geese have occasionally been found 
in small numbers in Arizona in fall and win- 
ter; the only report this season was of one at 
Cibola N.W.R. 25 Nov (PEL, BC). The arrival 
of Tundra Swans was nearly synchronous: a 
flock of 42 was at Cibola N.W.R. 26 Nov+ (S. 
Rimer), 6 were at Whitewater 26 Nov (SW), 
one was at Willow L. 26 Nov-r (ph. S. Burk), 
and 2 were at nearby Watson L. 29 Nov-t 
(CST). Eurasian Wigeon is a rare visitor but 
has been regular in greater Phoenix and near- 
ly so in Flagstaff. Single males were at 
Flagstaff 19-27 Nov QW!) and G.R.P. 27 Nov 
(ph. TD). A high count of 350 Canvasbacks 
found on n. L. Havasu 26 Nov (PEL, BC) is 
among the highest in the state. The recent pat- 
tern of increased numbers of Greater Scaup 
wintering on B.W.D. recurred, with 125 there 
26 Nov-i- (PEL, BC), when they outnumbered 
Lesser Scaup. For some perspective, this is 
likely a new state high count, and the high 
count for this species noted in Birds of the 
Lower Colorado River Valley (1991) was just 
25. This change followed the introduction of 


exotic mussels to the lake and may be related. 
Away from the Colorado R,, the only Greater 
Scaup reported was the female continuing at 
Willcox through 1 Oct (m.ob.). This fall’s Surf 
Scoters included 4 at Lynx L. 31 Oct (S. 
Drown; ph. S. Burk, M. Nicosia) and 6 at 
B.W.D. 21 Nov-h (ph. DVP). Black Scoter has 
become more regular as a fall migrant in small 
numbers. One was at G.R.P. 14-17 Nov (tB. 
Walsh; ph. J. Ritz). Up to 5 Barrow’s Gold- 
eneyes at B.W.D. 21 Nov+ (DVP, LHa) were 
the only ones reported. An unseasonable 
Common Merganser at Parker Canyon L. 22 
Aug (B. Sullivan et al.) appeared to be injured. 
Rare away from the Colorado R., Red-breasted 
Merganser was reported at Willcox 6 Nov (4; 
ph. H. Hansen), Willow L. 6 Nov (5; DM), 
G.R.P. 8-19 Nov (one; LHa et al.), and Gila 
Bend 25 Nov (3; M. Herring). 

Also rare away from the Colorado R., Pa- 
cific Loon was noted at Patagonia L. 26 Oct-r 
(up to 2; ph. SH; RT), Upper L. Mary 17 Nov 
(2; EH), and L. Havasu 22 Nov (5; LHa, 
DVP). Fifteen Common Loons were reported 
away from the L.C.R.V The saga of the Least 
Grebes at Pena Blanca L. continued, with 2 
ads. seen through 13 Aug, then a hiatus in re- 
ports until 29 Oct (CC). Subsequently, the 
ads. were discovered with 4 juvs. 2 Nov-t (ph. 
AS), which confirms successful nesting fol- 
lowing the failed summer attempt. Horned 
Grebe is rare away from the L.C.R.V. Singles 
were at Upper L. Mary 14 Oct (ph. S. Burk), 
G.R.P 17 Oct-15 Nov (CB, BW), Upper L. 
Mary again 7-23 Nov (ph. EH), Page S.T.P. 9 
Nov (S. Putz), and L. Pleasant 17 Nov (ph. 
TD). While Western Grebes were relatively 


132 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


ARIZONA 



This first-cycle Thayer's Gull was found at Lake Havasu City 22 November 2010 and 
established only a tenth Arizona record. Photograph by Lauren Harter and David 
Vander Pluym. 


numerous at the end of Oct, the only migrant 
Clark’s Grebes reported away from larger 
reservoirs were singles at G.R.E 14 Oct (TD) 
and Willow L. 3-16 Nov (DM). 

Following the Blue-footed Booby in sum- 
mer, a Brown Booby was at Martinez L. 10 
Aug (ph. G. Froehlich), and another was hit 
by a car at Rio Salado, Phoenix 30 Aug (C. 
Parks; *University of Arizona). Both species 
are casual visitors to the state. A wind event in 
mid-Nov brought nearly 30 Brown Pelicans 
up from the Gulf of California, including 12 
at Amado S.T.P 2LNov (ph. J. Michael) and 
13 at B.W.D. 22 Nov (LHa, DVP). Earlier, 4 
were on Alamo L. 11 Nov (ph. DM), where 
they are seldom reported. The spread of 
Neotropic Cormorant continued. Most re- 
markable were 3 in Glen Canyon near Water 
Holes Canyon 12-21 Sep (S. Putz; ph. B. 
Gatlin, J. West), providing first records for the 
N.l.R. and for Coconino. A single Neotropic 
was reported intermittently at B.W.D. 
(m.ob.). The only American Bittern reported 
away from the L.C.R.Y was at Patagonia L. 22 
Oct-i- (I. Field, J. Broz). Tricolored Heron, 
most often noted as a fall wanderer from Mex- 
ico, was reported four times: at Goodyear 14 
Aug-22 Sep (ph. S. Tjotta), at Paloma 3 Sep 
(ph. WG), at Lakeside Park, Tucson 22 
Sep-11 Oct (D. West; ph. DS), and possibly 
the same bird in ne. Tucson 16 Oct-7 Nov 
(ph. B. Nicholas). Far less common, a Red- 
dish Egret was at Paloma 16-22 Oct (ph. CR, 
KR). With only about 10 accepted records, a 
Glossy Ibis was a good find at Paloma 14 Aug 
(tKR; TC, J. Watson). A Roseate Spoonbill 
cruised over Patagonia L. 16 Aug (SH), and 
another was at G.R.P 19-21 Nov (K. Bielek; 
ph. WG,J. Ritz, TDVP). 

The Arizona Game and Fish Department 
reported a total of 104 breeding ad. Bald Ea- 
gles in 52 occupied territories statewide dur- 
ing 2010, an all-time high; 44 eaglets fledged. 
A Common Black-Hawk appeared set to win- 
ter again at Page Springs 6 Nov-r (ph. G. 
Botello), the only one known to be wintering 
in Arizona. A pair of Harris’s Hawks that 
fledged young near Dewey in Oct (CST) was 
north of previous reports. Red-shouldered 
Hawk is irregular in Arizona, with numerous 
scattered recent reports from the L.C.R.Y and 
at least one apparently still resident at H.R.P 
One was at Pintail Slough, Topock Marsh 17 
Sep (DD), and one was at H.R.P 6 Nov (DYP). 
Broad-winged Hawk is regular in fall at the 
Grand Canyon and casual elsewhere. At the 
Grand Canyon hawkwatch, 5 were seen 26-29 
Sep (E Guerrero et al.). Surprising was one in- 
advertently mist-netted at H.R.P 19 Oct (C. 
Smith, B. Thompson, ph. S. Smith). A Gray 
Hawk was late at H.R.P 10 Oct (P. Deviche), 


and several others lingered 
into late Oct in se., with one 
apparently set to winter 
again at Amado 5 Nov+ Q- 
Yerger et al). A Short-tailed 
Hawk was seen again at Mt. 

Bigelow, Santa Catalina Mts. 

12 Aug (G. Homel). The 
wintering individual re- 
turned to Tucson 28 Oct-i- (]. 

Notestine, m.ob.), where it 
again appeared in an atypi- 
cal plumage that has 
sparked a discussion with 
proponents suggesting ei- 
ther hybrid parentage or 
erythrochroism; we favor 
the latter explanation. The 
only Rough-legged Hawk reported was at 
Kansas Settlement 15 Nov (E Kee). Up to 3 
Crested Caracaras were in the Santa Cruz 
Flats 18 Sep+ (m.ob.), and 3 were seen at 
scattered locations away from their core range 
during the season. 

Rare migrants, single Black-bellied Plovers 
were at Imperial N.W.R. 7 Aug (A. Lamore- 
aux) and Paloma 14 Nov (HD). Seven Snowy 
Plovers were reported 15 Aug-17 Sep, a bet- 
ter showing than in recent falls. The only re- 
ports of Mountain Plovers came from the San- 
ta Cruz Flats 26 Nov+ (C. Kirscher), where 
up to 40 were present. One of the least com- 
mon shorebird migrants in Arizona, an Up- 
land Sandpiper was at San Bernardino N.W.R. 
21 Aug (tREW). Among the rare-but-regular 
shorebird migrants, 7 Sanderlings, 11 Semi- 
palmated Sandpipers, 17 Dunlins, and 4 
Short-billed Dowitchers were reported. Two 
Wilson’s Phalaropes were quite late at Willow 
L. 3 Nov (DM, K. Archibald). A Red 
Phalarope was at Bog Hole WA. 15 Sep (ph. 
AS). A Eranklin’s Gull was early at Amado 
S.T.P. 18 Sep 0 - McCabe). Long overdue in 
Arizona but still amazing was a juv. Little 
Gull at Mesquite Bay, L. Havasu 23 Sep Q- 
Saba, ph. B. Sutton). There are multiple 
records from nearby se. California but few 
during fall. A Heermann’s Gull at Sweetwater 
8 Nov (D. Ginter, R. Spahn; ph. AC et al.) was 
the only one reported. Notable Herring Gulls 
were at Upper L. Mary 7 Nov (EH) and G.R.E 
8 Nov (LHa et al.). A Thayer’s Gull at Rotary 
Park, Lake Havasu City 22 Nov (ph. DYP; 
ph., tLHa) was about the 10th for Arizona. A 
Western Gull on the same beach 4 Sep-18 
Oct (ph. J. West; ph. MMS, DYP) was about 
as rare and the 2 nd this year in the state. 
About average in recent years, 9 Sabine’s Gulls 
were reported. A Least Tern was at G.R.P 20 
Aug 0- Kopitzke et al.); this species is not 
typically seen as a fall migrant in Arizona. A 


Caspian Tern was late at Tres Rios, Phoenix 
15-21 Oct (M. Herring; ph. BW), as was a 
Black Tern at G.W.R. 25 Oct (R. Ditch). 
Jaegers are sparse migrants in the state, and L. 
Havasu is a known but under-birded attrac- 
tion for them. This fall, a juv. Parasitic Jaeger 
with a damaged bill was at Rotary Park 14 Sep 
(ph. B. Sutton), and up to 2 other juvs. were 
over n. L. Havasu 18-23 Sep (T. Linda, J. Lo- 
gan, ph. T. Benson, ph. DS). An ad. Long- 
tailed Jaeger was also on n. L. Havasu 18-21 
Sep (T. Linda, J. Logan; ph. T. Benson). 

DOVES THROUGH WOODPECKERS 

A White-winged Dove was n. to Lonely Dell 
Ranch 18 Sep (B. Gatlin). Ruddy Ground- 
Dove numbers were up again, with 10 report- 
ed. Most notable were singles n. to Chino Yal- 
ley 11-31 Oct (ph. R. Wuerhman) and nw. to 
Rotary Park, Lake Havasu City 17 Oct (DYP, 
LHa). A Groove-billed Ani was n. to Sipe 
White Mountain WA. 1 Aug (ph. M. Clin- 
ton); another was at Whitewater 5 Nov (G. 
Lewis; ph. AC). The only Northern Saw-whet 
Owl reported in the lowlands was at Tohono 
Chul Park, Tucson 4 Nov (ph. courtesy J. 
Falls). Four Yaux’s Swifts were e. to Portal 22 
Sep (NMC), and one was two weeks late at 
Whitewater 31 Oct (SH). Though they have 
recently shown signs of range expansion. 
Broad-billed Hummingbirds remain scarce 
away from the breeding range in Arizona. An 
ad. male strayed n. to Prescott 9-13 Oct (B. 
Bockrath, ph. B. 65 : M. Tinney), and an imm. 
male set up to winter in Yuma 19 Oct+ (S. 
Detwiler, ph. H. Detwiler). The only White- 
eared Hummingbird newly found since sum- 
mer was in Madera Canyon 9 Aug (E. Fazio). 
A female Berylline Hummingbird was nesting 
again at Cave Cr., Chiricahua Mts. 9-28 Aug 
(S. Kirn et al.; ph. REW). The only new 
Berylline for the season was in Portal 28 
Aug-16 Sep (ph. REW, RAR). Others contin- 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


133 


ARIZONA 



The status of Winter Wren in Arizona is still uncertain. This 
individual found at Humboldt Canyon in the Patagonia 
Mountains 30 October was one of several reported 
statewide in fall 2010 and is one few fully documented in 
the state. Photograph by Alan Schmierer. 


ued from summer in Miller Canyon and 
Madera Canyon, Violet-crowned Humming- 
birds away from typical areas were more nu- 
merous than usual and included 2 in French 
Joe Canyon 7 Aug (M. Coker), up to 4 in the 
Warren District of Bisbee 12 Sep-16 Nov 
(SW), and singles at Three Points 3 Oct (ph. 
T. Holland), returning to winter in a Tucson 
yard 16 Oct+ (R. Hoyer), on the nw. flank of 
the Mule Mts. 22 Oct (K. Lamberton), in sw. 
Tucson 31 Oct+ (R. Watts), and at Green Val- 
ley 1 Nov+ (C. & J. Trible). Blue-throated 
Hummingbird is a scarce migrant in the low- 
lands and occasionally remains to winter. One 
visited feeders in Green Valley 27 Nov+ (C. & 
J. Trible). A Plain-capped Starthroat was a 
good find at the Batons’ in Patagonia 4-21 Sep 
(M. Marsden; ph. AC, C. Mellon, CVC). A 


male Lucifer Hummingbird appeared again at 
Dragoon Mountain Ranch 24 Aug-10 Sep (A. 
Ripley). More Lucifers than usual were seen 
in atypical locations, with one in the lowlands 
at San Simon Cienega 8 Sep (REW), up to 2 
in the nw. Mule Mts. 27 Sep-15 Oct (ph. K. 
Lamberton), one in Bisbee 28 Sep (SW), one 
at the Batons’ 21-27 Oct (M. Marsden; ph. 
AS), and one in the lowlands at the San Pedro 
House 26 Oct (EW, ph. S. Elwell). With only 
three prior records, a Ruby-throated Hum- 
mingbird was a great find in Portal 29 Oct 
(ph,, tREW); all but one have occurred in the 
fall. A female Anna’s Hummingbird was a very 
rare find at Desert View, Grand Canyon N.P. 
8-9 Oct (B. Gatlin). A Broad-tailed Hum- 
mingbird was very late at G.W.R. 29 Nov+ (]. 
Kopitzke). The only report of Allen’s Hum- 
mingbird came from W. Turkey Cr., Chiri- 
cahua Mts. 18 Sep (S. Wethington). 

There were few reports of Green 
Kingfisher, with at least 2 at San 
Bernardino N.W.R. 5-14 Aug (REW) 
and one there 15 Sep+ (REW). At 
H.R.P, there was a single report of an 
apparently continuing Green King- 
fisher 6 Nov (C. Smith). There was a 
good showing of Yellow-bellied Sap- 
suckers, with an above-average 7 re- 
ported 17 Oct-27 Nov. A Red-breast- 
ed Sapsucker returned to McCormick 
Park in Tucson, where it had wintered 
last year 17 Oct-4 Nov (MMS; ph. 
RT), but it was not reported thereafter. 
Quite unexpected was a Downy 
Woodpecker in cottonwoods at San 
Bernardino N.W.R. 24 Oct (REW); an- 
other was at Watson Woods, Prescott 
18 Nov (DM), where casual. There are 
relatively few well-established records 
of this species away from its localized 
breeding areas in n. Arizona. 

FLYCATCHERS THROUGH PiPITS 

A Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet was in Por- 
tal 4 Sep (NMC); this species is considered 
very rare this far e. in the state. A Willow Fly- 
catcher at M.C.W. 3 Oct (TC) was late, as this 
species is generally an early fall migrant. A 
Hammond’s Flycatcher at M.C.W. 12 Nov 
(TC) was also probably a late migrant. A 
Black Phoebe at Tuba City 17 Nov (CL) was 
late for n. Arizona. Six Eastern Phoebes were 
at scattered localities around s. Arizona, about 
average for a fall season. A pair of Say’s 
Phoebes nested very late at Ahwatukee; a nest 
with 3 recently hatched young was located on 
the late date of 4 Nov (P 61 G. Halesworth; 
fide TC). One of the rarest birds of the fall was 
a Great Crested Flycatcher found at 
Cameron 19-21 Sep (ph. CL; ph. T. Linda); 



This Great Crested Flycatcher at Cameron, Arizona 19-21 (here 20) 
September 2010 provided only a fourth state record for this species. 
Photograph by Tom Linda. 


there are only three previous Arizona records. 
At least 3 Tropical Kingbirds lingered at Saint 
David until 21 Sep (EW), while one at Aztec 
2 Oct (KR, CR) was both very late and well w. 
of normal occurrence in Arizona. Numerous 
Cassin’s Kingbirds lingered well into Nov at a 
number of s. Arizona localities, the latest oc- 
curring at Yuma 30 Nov (EW). A Thick-billed 
Kingbird at Patagonia 3 Oct (CC) was on the 
late side, but more remarkably the individual 
that has wintered previously at Yuma was 
again detected 14 Nov-r (HD, S. Detwiler), 
making its 9th year in a row! Eastern King- 
bird is a rare early fall migrant in the state; 
this year, one was at Cameron 26 Aug Q- 
Wilder), one was at Gila Bend 8 Sep (ph. 
MMS, MP), and either the same bird (or a dif- 
ferent individual) was nearby 14 Sep (J. Ko- 
pitzke, ph. TD). 

The only Northern Shrike reported was 
one near Becker L. 27 Nov (EH); this species 
is a rare and irregular winter visitor to n. Ari- 
zona. A begging fledgling Bell’s Vireo along 
M.C.W. 26 Sep (TC) was the product of a 
late nesting. One along the Santa Cruz R. 
near Tubac 17 Oct QS) and another at B.T.A. 
6-12 Nov (TC) were both considered quite 
late. Migrant Gray Vireos were reported from 
Cameron 11 Sep (CL, T. Linda, J. Logan) and 
from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon 23 
Sep (BG); migrants are seldom reported 
away from known breeding areas in the state. 
A vireo of the Solitary Vireo group at San 
Bernardino N.W.R. 29 Sep (ph., tREW) was 
tentatively identified as a Blue-headed; there 
are still fewer than five documented records 
of Blue-headed Vireo from Arizona. Very late 
Warbling Vireos were at Tucson 27 Oct 
(CDB) and at Montezuma Well 11 Nov 0- 
Wilder). Three Mexican Jays above the 
Mogollon Rim near Heber 9 Aug (E. Hough) 
were n. of normal range in the state. Scat- 
tered Tree Swallows were reported in se. Ari- 
zona during late Nov, but 400 at L. Havasu 
26 Nov (PEL) was a very high count; Tree 
Swallows have been known to winter in large 
numbers in the L.C.R.V. Lingering Violet- 
green Swallows, casual in the state in winter, 
were at Sweetwater 21 Nov (SO) and at 
Kennedy Park in Tucson 23 Nov 0- Higgins). 
Similarly, lingering Northern Rough-winged 
Swallows were at Sweetwater 21 Nov (SO) 
and at Amado 22 Nov (RE). Cliff Swallow is 
casual in the state during late fall and winter; 
singles were seen at McNeal 19 Oct (EW) 
and Willcox 20 Oct (RT). Red-breasted 
Nuthatches were reported in small numbers 
throughout the state, widespread in both 
highland and lowland locations early 
Sep-mid-Nov. The species is resident 
throughout the high-elevation coniferous 


134 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


ARIZONA 


forest in Arizona, with periodic fall and win- 
ter irruptions through the rest of the state. 

The Sinaloa Wren was seen again at Patag- 
onia-Sonoita Creek Preserve 15 Aug (WR), 
the first report from this locality since 30 Nov 
2009. The bird.w'as noted to be in heavy molt. 
Documented reports of Winter Wrens (sensu 
stricto) were received from San Bernardino 
N.W.R. 24 Oct (v.r., tREW), from Humboldt 
Canyon, Patagonia Mts. 30 Oct (ph. AS), 
from M.C.W. 12 Nov (tTC, LHa, DVP), and 
from Tubac (ph., tC. McCreedy); This fall’s 
reports suggest that Winter Wren may occur 
in the state in numbers similar to Pacific 
Wren (three reports this season), but this de- 
termination requires more long-term data, 
and we plan to continue monitoring the sta- 
tus of these species in Arizona. Very long 
overdue in Arizona was the discovery of a 
Sedge Wren at Pena Blanca L. 27 Nov+ (ph. 
AS; tMMS), providing a first state record. A 
Marsh Wren at Willcox 13 Aug (SH) fur- 
nished the earliest known record of this 
species in se. Arizona. Four American Dip- 
pers were along the Colorado R. at the bottom 
of the Grand Canyon near Phantom Ranch 
10-11 Nov (ph. j. West), an unusually low el- 
evation for this species in Arizona. Black- 
capped Gnatcatchers continued at several lo- 
cations where they have been known to occur 
in the past, including Brown Canyon, Leslie 
Canyon N.W.R. , Montosa Canyon, two loca- 
tions at Patagonia L., and Proctor Rd. below 
Madera Canyon, but reports were down 
markedly from recent years. 

A Swainson’s Thrush near Imperial Dam 
28 Sep (ph. G. Graves) was considered local- 
ly rare, while another at Roger Road S.T.E, 
Tucson 19 Oct (MMS) was quite late. This 
fall was excellent for Rufous-backed Robin 
in the state, with one at McCormick Park, 
Tucson 7-16 Nov (ph. C. Greeii, M. J. Hage; 
ph. KK), one along Sonoita Cr. above Pata- 
gonia L. 18 Nov (AS), one at B.T.A. 20-27 
Nov (TC; ph. R. Ditch), and one near Tubac 

26 Nov (MMS, MP, D. Davis); this species is 
a casual to rare fall and -winter visitor across 
se. Arizona. No fewer than 7 Varied Thrush- 
es were found statevdde in Oct and Nov, an 
above-normal number for a single fall. A 
Sage Thrasher in the San Rafael Valley 27 Sep 
(AS) was early for se. Arizona. Four Bro-wn 
Thrashers were found, about average for a 
fall season. Curve-billed Thrashers in the 
Mohawk Valley between Tacna and Wellton 

27 Nov (PEL) and along the Bill Williams R. 
30 Nov 0- Richmond) were both farther w. 
than usual for w. Arizona. A Sprague’s Pipit 
at Rousseau Farm in Scottsdale 7-10 Nov 
(TD; ph. DVP) provided one of the few 
records for Maricopa. 


LONGSPURS THROUGH FINCHES 

McCown’s Longspurs were found at the 
Rousseau Farm in Scottsdale 6-14 Nov (ph. J. 
McKay), with numbers peaking at 17 there 9-11 
Nov (TD, DVP); this species is considered casu- 
al in Maricopa. At least 2 Lapland Longspurs, 
casual in the state, were also at Rousseau Farm 
6-15 Nov (ph. J. McKay; tTD, DVP), with 30+ 
Chestnut-collared Longspurs also there. 

Tennessee Warblers were reported at Sweet- 
water 17 Sep (WR; ph. M. Lester), at Kino 
Springs 21 Sep (SH), and at Sweetwater 28 
Nov+ (tMMS; ph., tAC); this species is a rare 
to casual -visitor to the state. A late Orange- 
crowned Warbler was at Cameron 17 Nov 
(CL). A Virginia’s Warbler at Sweetwater 29 
Sep-1 Oct (MMS, MP) provided one of the lat- 
est fall reports for se. Arizona. Even more in- 
teresting was a very late Lucy’s Warbler at 
Sweetwater 21 Oct+ (MMS et al); this species 
is typically gone from Arizona by early Oct. 
About 10 Northern Parulas were found 
statewide, average for fall. The latest of a few 
late Yellow Warblers was one at Tubac 29 Nov 
(M. Brooks). In the rare-but-regular category, 
6 Chestnut-sided and 4 Black-throated Blue 
Warblers were found. Still casual in the state, 
a Magnolia Warbler was at Roger Road S.T.E 
4-8 Oct (tMMS; ph. AC, DS). Also casual in 
Arizona, Black-throated Green Warblers were 
at Havasu N.W.R. 8 Oct (C. Dodge; ph. J. 
Kehl) and at Tubac 20-27 Nov (ph., tC. Mc- 
Creedy; M. Lester). A Blackburnian Warbler 
was reported from Cameron 11 Sep (CL, T. 
Linda, J. Logan), and another was along 
M.C.W. 11 Sep (ph., tTC). Single Palm War- 
blers were reported along Indian Bend Wash, 
Tempe 24-28 Oct (M. Toomey; ph. BG), at 
Flagstaff (SP), and in Miller Canyon 19-23 
Nov (CVC; ph. C. Melton); this species is ca- 
sual to rare in Arizona during fall. No fewer 
than 17 Black-and-white Warblers and 15 
American Redstarts were reported, both 
above-average numbers for a single season. 
Single Prothonotary Warblers, rare in the 
state, were at G.W.R. 19 Sep (N. Komar) and 
M.C.W. 26 Sep (TC). Still considered casual in 
Arizona, single Worm-eating Warblers were at 
M.C.W. 20 Aug (tTC) and B.T.A. 25-29 Oct 
(ph. J. Holloway). Kentucky Warbler is much 
rarer in the state during fall than spring; sin- 
gles were at H.R.R 14 Aug (tA. height, tC. 
Smith; ph. C Burkett) and at Cameron 16-17 
Sep (WG; ph. J. Logan). An apparent Mourning 
Warbler x MacGillivray’s Warbler hybrid was 
at the ‘Ahakhav Tribal Preserve near Parker 21 
Sep (ph. DS, MMS); the bird had a distinct yel- 
low throat, suggesting Mourning, but had a 
long tail and very bold eye arcs, both features 
favoring MacGillivray’s. A Common Yel- 
lowthroat at Wenima WA. near Springerville 


27 Nov (EH) was very late for n, Arizona. 
Hooded Warblers were near Paradise 21 Aug 
(B. Sullivan) and at Tumacacori 31 Oct+ (WR; 
ph. D. Dionne, GHR). 

Two or 3 Botteri’s Sparrows near Oracle late 
Aug-18 Sep (B. Bristow, B. Taubert; ph. DJ) 
were n. of normal range in Arizona. No fewer 
than 13 Clay-colored Sparrows were found 
between 21 Aug and late Sep, a few more than 
usual for fall. A Grasshopper Sparrow was at 
an unusual location in a Mesa yard 29 Oct (J. 
Miller). Several Western Tanagers lingered 
into late Oct and Nov, the latest reports com- 
ing 6 Nov from both H.R.R (TD, DVP) and 
Lincoln Park, Tucson (MMS, MP). A Pyrrhu- 
loxia near Carefree 7 Nov (TC) was at an odd 
location n. of its usual distribution in Ari- 
zona. Only 2 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were 
found during the fall; this species has become 
an uncommon late spring visitor to the state 
and appears to be even less common in fall. 
Scattered Varied Buntings were found linger- 
ing later than usual, the latest being at San 
Bernardino N.W.R. 24 Oct (REW). It was an 
excellent year for both Painted Buntings and 
Dickcissels statewide, with no fewer than 20 
reports received for each. Still casual in the 
state, single Orchard Orioles were at San 
Bernardino N.W.R. 21 Aug (tREW) and near 
San Simon Cienega 8 Sep (ph. REW). Two 
Streak-backed Orioles inhabited a small ranch 
yard between Tacna and Wellton in the Mo- 
hawk Valley 27 Nov+ (v.r. PEL, BC; ph. HD, 
C. Taylor); this oriole is casual in the state, 
particularly this far west. A Lawrence’s 
Goldfinch was at Mt. Trumbull 23 Sep (B. 
Bock); this is quite far n. in the state for this 
species, particularly during a non-flight year. 

Contributors; Charles Babbitt, Chris D. Be- 
nesh, Jerry Bock, Barbara Carlson, Cliff 
Gathers, Christie van Cleve, John Coons, An- 
drew Core (Tucson), Troy Corman, Tommy 
DeBardeleben, Dee Dee DeLorenzo, Henry 
Detwiler, Richard Fray, Brian Gatlin, Brendon 
Grice, William Grossi, Lauren Harter (LHa), 
Stuart Healy, Eric Hough, Doug Jenness, 
Chuck LaRue, Paul E. Lehman, David Moll, 
Narca Moore-Craig, Scott Olmstead, David 
vander Pluym, Molly Pollock, Shaun Putz, 
Cindy Radamaker, Kurt Radamaker, Gary H. 
Rosenberg, Rose Ann Rowlett, Will Russell, 
John Saba, Alan Schmierer, Dave Stejskal, 
Mark M. Stevenson, Rick Taylor, Carl S. To- 
moff, Richard E. Webster, Jason Wilder, Sheri 
Williamson, Erika Wilson, Bob Witzeman. @ 


Mark M. Stefenson, 4201 East Monte Vista Drive, #1207 
Tucson, Arizona, 85712-5554 (clrbrdr@att.net) 

Gary H. Rosenberg, P. 0. Box 91856 

Tucson, Arizona, 85752-1856 (ghrosenberg@comcast.net) 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


135 


Great Basin 



Rick Fridell 


T here were many outstanding vagrants 
found in the Great Basin region this sea- 
son, including Nevada’s first Great 
Crested Flycatcher and Utah’s first Purple 
Sandpiper and Pyrrhuloxia. Large numbers of 
Evening Grosbeaks moved into the Region and 
were frequently observed in habitats ranging 
from alpine areas to desert lowlands through- 
out Utah and Nevada. Additional Nevada high- 
lights included Black-legged Kittiwake, 
Philadelphia Vireo, and two Black-throated 
Green Warblers, Utah highlights included a 
Harlequin Duck and a Broad-billed Humming- 
bird in the southwestern corner of the state. 

Abbreviations: Antelope I. (Antelope Island 
S.P and Causeway, Davis, UT); Ash Meadows 
(Ash Meadows N.W.R., Nye, NV); Bear River 
(Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Box Elder, 
UT); Corn Cr. (Corn Creek Unit, Desert 
N.W.R., Clark, NV); D.C.W. (Duck Creek 
Wetlands, Las Vegas, Clark, NV); Farmington 
Bay (Farmington Bay W.M.A., Davis, UT); 
H.B.V.R (Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve, 
Clark, NV); L. Mead (Lake Mead N.R.A., 
Clark, NV); Lytle (Lytle Ranch Preserve, 
Washington, UT); Miller’s R.A. (Miller’s Rest 
Area, Esmeralda, NV); Ouray (Ouray N.W.R,, 
Uintah, UT); Pahranagat (Pahranagat N.W.R. , 
Lincoln, NV); Quail Creek (Quail Creek S.P., 
Washington, UT); Red Hills (Red Hills G.C., 
St. George, Washington, UT); Sand Hollow 
(Sand Hollow S.P, Was/iington, UT); Zion 
(Zion N.P., Washington, UT). 

WATERFOWL THROUGH VULTURES 

A male Eurasian Wigeon visited Lemmon Val- 
ley, Waslioc, NV 6 Nov (MM). A female Har- 
lequin Duck, a first for s. Utah, was pho- 
tographed on the Virgin R. near Hurricane, 
Washington 2 Nov (tMD). Utah Surf Scoters 
included 2 at Hyrum S.P, Cache 22 Oct-6 
Nov (RO, CF HW), 2 at Antelope 1. 30 
Oct-14 Nov OB et al), 3 at Rockport S.P, 
Summit 31 Oct-7 Nov (DD et al), and 3 at 
Otter Creek S.P, Piute 8-9 Nov (RF). Nevada 


Surf Scoters were observed at Mason Valley 
W.M.A., Lyon 28 Oct (RL) and at Pyramid L, 
Washoe 3-15 Nov (DS et al.). The only White- 
winged Scoters reported were 2 at Lincoln 
Beach, Utah L., Utah, UT 13 Nov (RW) and a 
female at Crystal Res., Ash Meadows 24 Nov 
(CL). Black Scoters were found at Echo Res., 
Summit, UT 31 Oct (DD), Antelope 1. 1-14 
Nov (DSh, RW et al.), and Pyramid L., 
Washoe, NV 14-15 Nov (RS et al). Long- 
tailed Ducks made their usual late fall appear- 
ance at Antelope 1. 14 Nov+ (DD), with a high 
count there of 9 on 27 Nov OB). The only 
Long-tailed Duck reported away from Ante- 
lope 1. was at Henderson, Clark, NV 24 Nov 
OBr, RSc). Pacific Loons were observed at 
East Canyon S.P, Morgan, UT 22 Oct-6 Nov 
QBl, ph. DH), Gunlock S.P., Washington, UT 2 
Nov (RF), and Otter Creek S.P., Piute, UT 8-9 
Nov (RF). Red-necked Grebes were docu- 
mented at Pyramid L., Washoe, NV 10 Sep-8 
Oct (MM et al.) and Jordanelle S.P., Wasatch, 
UT 23 Oct-6 Nov (EH, KC, ph. JCo). 
Neotropic Cormorants continued their re- 
cent presence in n. Utah with an amazing 7 
photographed at Taylorsville, Salt Lake 12 
Aug (ph. RY); a few lingered in Taylorsville 
through at least 20 Sep. Additional Neotropic 
Cormorants were observed at Bear River 15 
Aug (TKP et al.), Farmington Bay W.M.A., 
Davis 18 Sep (S&CS), and Sandy, Salt Lake 20 
Sep-10 Oct (RY). 


ington, UT 29 Aug (JJ) and Pahranagat 30 Aug 
(DW). An imm. Clapper Rail, believed to be 
of the subspecies yumanensis, was pho- 
tographed at Ash Meadows 17 Aug (ph. CL, 
SS). Sandhill Cranes made a rare Washington, 
UT appearance in the Hurricane Fields 26-28 
Nov (ph. RF, JF, DT). 

There were relatively few sightings of va- 
grant shorebirds this fall in the Great Basin. 
Whimbrels were present at Antelope 1. 28 
Aug-1 Sep (ph. JBl et al.) and D.C.W. 6 Sep 
QT, KD). Ruddy Turnstones were reported at 
Antelope 1. 8 Aug-11 Sep Q&KB, JBl, ph. DD), 
and D.C.W. 31 Aug (DV). A Red Knot was 
found at Pyramid L., Washoe, NV 26 Sep (RS). 
The first Purple Sandpiper documented in the 
w. lower 48 states was at Sand Hollow follow- 
ing a regional storm 28 Nov (ph. RF, JF, KCo, 
m.ob.). This cooperative bird remained 
through 4 Dec, providing viewing opportuni- 
ties for scores of birders. A well-documented 
Ruff visited Antelope 1. 1-16 Aug (tJ&KB). 
Red Phalaropes were reported from Antelope 1. 
1 Oct (SD), Pahranagat 17-21 Oct (ph. GS, ph. 
RF), and Sand Hollow 24-30 Nov (ph. RF, JF). 

Nevada’s first Black-legged Kittiwake since 
1995 graced Pyramid L., Washoe 5-6 Nov 
(ph., tGS, MM et al); another was observed 
briefly at Antelope 1. 21 Nov (S&SC et al). 
Sabine’s Gulls made a good showing this fall 
in the Region, with 4 in Nevada 7 Sep-8 Oct 
(Lincoln, Nye, and Washoe) and 12 in Utah 15 



Prior to 201 0, Utah had five confirmed records of Harlequin Duck, all from the northern part of the state. This female was dis- 
covered 2 November 201 0 in the southwestern corner of the state on the Virgin River near Hurricane, Washington County. 
Photograph by Maurice DeMille. 


HAWKS THROUGH TERNS 

The Pahranagat White-tailed Kites continued 
this fall, with 2 juvs. and an ad. reported 18 
Sep-24 Oct (GS et al). Broad-winged Hawks 
were reported passing Tri-county Peak, Sum- 
mit, UT 18-26 Sep QB, BH, BM et al.) and at 
Croydon, Morgan, UT 7 Oct (WS). Zone- 
tailed Hawks, rarely observed in the past few 
years, were reported at La Verkin Cr., Wash- 


Sep-4 Oct (Box Elder, Davis, Gaifield, Sevier, 
Uintah, Wasatch, and Washington). A late juv. 
was also observed at Antelope 1. 23 Oct 
(DWh). A Heermann’s Gull made a rare ap- 
pearance in the Region at Washoe L., Washoe, 
NV 17 Oct (ph. RL). First-cycle Lesser Black- 
backed Gulls were observed at Spark’s Mari- 
na, Washoe, NV 28-30 Oct (ph., tMM et al.), 
the Carson City Sewage Ponds, Carson, NV 1- 
2 Nov (ph., tGS et al), and Washoe L., 


136 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


Washoe, NV 14 Nov (RL). Utah Lesser Black- 
backed Gulls included a first-cycle bird at 
Panguitch L., Garfield 8 Nov (RF) and an ad. 
at Decker L., Salt Lake 30 Nov (EC). The only 
Glaucous-winged Gull reported this fall was a 
first-cycle bird at Spark’s Marina, Washoe, NV 
26-30 Oct (MM). Common Terns were found 
at D.C.W. 28 Aug (MM), Ash Meadows 15-26 
Sep (CL), Sand Hollow 20 Sep (8 birds; RF), 
Benson Marina, Cache, UT 29 Sep (CF), 
Pahranagat 1 Oct (CL, SS), and D.C.W. 4 Oct 
(NN). A juv. Arctic Tem was photographed at 
Pyramid L., Washoe, NV 1 Sep (MM). A Para- 
sitic Jaeger was a surprising sight flying over 
Las Vegas at D.C.W. 14 Sep (ph. GS). 

DOVES THROUGH WARBLERS 

Wayward White-winged Doves were found at 
Antelope I. 11 Sep (SC, ph. JB), Oak City, Mil- 
lard, UT 1 Oct and 29 Nov (DA), and Ameri- 
can Fork, Utah, UT 22 Nov (ph. JCo). Utah’s 
6th Broad-billed Hummingbird, a male, visit- 
ed a feeder at New Harmony, Washington, UT 
28 Sep-l Oct (JJ, ph. RF). Anna’s Humming- 
birds continued their northward movement in 
the Region, with 8-10 observed in Carson and 
Washoe, NV 3 Oct-24 Nov (AW, RL, JL, KO). 
Small colonies of Acorn Woodpeckers contin- 
ued at Devil’s Canyon, San Juan, UT 7 Aug 
0Sh) and Kolob Meadows, Washington, UT 27 
Aug-4 Nov (RF et al.). A Red-breasted Sap- 
sucker was at Lytle 29 Sep-1 Oct (ph. RF et 
al.), and a male American Three-toed Wood- 
pecker made a rare Washington, UT appearance 
at Lava Point, Zion 14-18 Nov (ph. RF, KCo). 

Least Flycatchers were reported from Dyer, 
Esmeralda NV 11 Sep (ph. GS, RS, DG) and 
Torrance Ranch, Nye, NV 17 Sep (DM et al.). 
Eastern Phoebes turned up at Wendover, 
Tooele, UT 8 Aug (KC), Provo Airport Dike, 
Utah, UT 18-21 Oct (JBl et al), and Pahrana- 
gat 21 Oct (ph. RF). One of highlights of the 
season was Nevada’s first Great Crested Fly- 
catcher found at Miller’s R.A. 2 Oct (ph., 
tFP). Juv. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were at 
D.C.W. 7-17 Sep (WP, TA, ph. GS) and 
H.B.V.E 1-7 Oct (ph. JH, RM et al.). A coop- 
erative Philadelphia Vireo lingered at Floyd 
Lamb Park, Las Vegas, Clark, NV 19-23 Oct 
QC, RSc, m.ob.); there is only one previous 
record endorsed by the Nevada B.R.C. Red- 
eyed Vireos were reported at Lytle 13 Sep and 
24 Oct (LT, J&KB). Vagrant Gray Catbirds 
were observed at Corn Cr. 12 Sep (CL), Tor- 
rance Ranch, Nye, NV 30 Sep (MM), and 
Miller’s R.A. 22-25 Oct (DG, RS). A flock of 
15 Bohemian Waxwings were a surprise along 
the Mirror Lake Hwy, Summit, UT 31 Oct 
(DH). Phainopeplas were found n. of expect- 
ed range at Miller’s R.A. 13 Sep (FP) and 
Tonopah, Nye, NV 25 Sep (GS). Two cooper- 


GREAT BASIN 





The first Black-legged Kittiwake observed in Nevada since 1995, this adult was 
found at Pyramid Lake, Washoe County 5 November 2010. There are two previous 
records of this species endorsed by the Nevada Bird Records Committee. Photo- 
graph by Greg Scyphers. 


Lesser Black-backed Gulls have become almost regular in Nevada, with seven docu- 
mented since the first report in January 2008. Photographed 30 October 2010 at 
Sparks Marina, Washoe County, this bird was one of two first-cycle Lesser Black- 
backed Guiis documented in Nevada in autumn 2010. Photograph by Martin Meyers. 


Arctic Tern is a very rare vagrant to Nevada and has not yet been documented in 
Utah. This juvenile was photographed at Pyramid Lake, Washoe County, Nevada 1 
September 201 0. Photograph by Martin Meyers. 


ative Snow Buntings lingered 
at Utah Lake S.P., Utah, UT 9- 
15 Nov (DSh et al.), providing 
observers an opportunity to 
study this rare species in the 
Region (ph. RW, ph RY et al). 

The Great Basin has a well- 
deserved reputation for pro- 
ducing an outstanding diversity 
of vagrant e. warblers, and this 
fall was no exception. A late fe- 
male Yellow Warbler was ob- 
served at Lytle 4 Nov (RF). A 
Northern Parula lingered at 
Pyramid L., Washoe, NV 26 
Oct-6 Nov (MM et al), and a 
Chestnut-sided Warbler was at 
Sunset Park, Las Vegas, Clark, 

NV 22-24 Sep (AL, CL). Mag- 
nolia Warblers were discovered 
at Floyd Lamb Park, Las Vegas, 

Clark, NV 16 Sep (GS) and at 
Crystal Springs, Lincoln, NV 1- 
2 Oct (ph. CL, SS). Male Black- 
throated Blue Warblers were 
observed at Capitol Reef N.E, 

Wayne, UT 24 Sep (BMo), Lytle 
10-12 Oct (ph. RF, LT), 

Pahranagat 17 Oct (ph. GS), 

Miller’s R.A. 25-29 Oct (DG, 

RS, R&TJ), and Floyd Lamb 
Park, Las Vegas, Clark, NV 13 
Nov (ph. AL). Amazingly, 2 
Black-throated Green War- 
blers were found in Las Vegas, 

Clark, NV this fall; an imm. fe- 
male was discovered at Floyd 
Lamb Park 30 Sep-3 Oct (ph. 

AL et al), and an imm. male 
was photographed at Sunset 
Park 6 Nov (ph. AL). Hermit 
Warblers were observed at Pine 
Valley Campground, Washing- 
ton, UT 31 Aug (RF) and Sun- 
set Park, Las Vegas, Clark, NV 
24-26 Sep (CL). An apparent 
Black-throated Gray Warbler 
X Townsend’s Warbler hybrid 
was photographed at Pahrana- 
gat 17-21 Oct (ph. GS, RF). 

Single Prairie Warblers were 
photographed at Dyer, Esmeralda, NV 5-6 Sep 
(ph. GS, RS, DG) and Red Springs, Red Rock 
N.C.A., Clark, NV 1-2 Nov (ph. JS, ph. RSa). 
Palm Warblers were found at Key Pittman 
W.M.A., Lincoln, NV 2 Oct (JCl, RSc), 
Pahranagat 17 Oct (GS), and North Tule 
Springs, Millard, UT 19 Oct (KW). Blackpoll 
Warblers were reported at Antelope I. 28 Aug 
(ph. JB, DH et al.) and Provo Airport Dike, 
Utah, UT 4 Sep 0^1). Female Black-and-white 


Warblers were discovered in Lincoln, NV at 
Key Pittman W.M.A. 18 Sep (GS) and Pahrana- 
gat 26 Sep-8 Oct (GS, RF et al.). Single Black- 
and-white Warblers were at Antelope 1. 4 Sep 
(RW), Springville, Utah 12 Sep QB), Lytle 16 
Sep (ph. RF), and Highland Glen Park, Utah 
17 Nov (ph. EP). Eleven American Redstarts 
were reported at various Nevada (Clark, Es- 
meralda, and Lincoln) and Utah locations 
(Davis and Washington) 5-27 Sep. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


137 




GREAT BASIN 



The only Northern Parula observed in the Great Basin in fall 2010 was at Pyramid 
Lake, Washoe County, Nevada from 26 October through 6 (here 4) November. 
Photograph by Martin Meyers. 



This Prairie Warbler, observed 5 (here) and 6 November 201 0 at Dyer, Esmeralda 
County, was one of two recorded in Nevada during the fall season. Photograph 
by Greg Scyphers. 



A juvenile Dickcissel, very rare anywhere in the Great Basin, visited Miller's Rest 
Area along Highway 6/95 in Esmeralda County, Nevada on 1 3 September 201 0. 
Photograph by Fred Petersen. 


Three Prothonotary Warblers graced various 
Fish Springs Valley, Esmeralda. NV locations 
5-25 Sep (GS, DS, RS, DG). A Prothonotary 
Warbler also made a rare Utah appearance at 
Red Hills 28 Sep (ph. RF). A Worm-eating 
Warbler lingered at Pahranagat 26 Sep-8 Oct 
(ph. GS, RD et ah). Ovenbirds were found at 


Pahranagat 26 Sep (GS) and 
Arrow Canyon, Clark, NV 11 
Oct (NN). Northern Wa- 
terthrushes, usually one the 
most common e. warblers in 
the Region, were observed 18 
Aug-18 Sep at only three loca- 
tions each in Utah (Cache, 
Davis, and Millard) and Ne- 
vada (Clark, Esmeralda, and 
Lincoln). A Kentucky Warbler 
was at Pahranagat 26 Sep-2 
Oct (ph. GS, ph. CL et ah). 
Hooded Warblers were found 
at three Nevada locations: 
Pahrump, Nye 9 Sep-r (CC, DF, 
ph. FO), Oxbow Park, Washoe 
12 Oct (GJ), and Crystal 
Springs, Lincoln 12-17 Oct 
(CL). A Canada Warbler was 
reported with limited details at 
Lytle 6 Sep (LT), and a Painted 
Redstart was photographed at 
Fletcher Canyon, Clark, NV 
27 Aug (AWi). 

SPARROWS 
THROUGH FINCHES 

American Tree Sparrows are 
very rarely observed in the s. 
portion of the Region, so one 
photographed at Floyd Lamb 
Park, Las Vegas, Clark, NV 13 
Nov (AL) was noteworthy. The 
only Clay-colored Sparrow this 
season was reported from the 
Salt Lake International Center, 
Salt Lake, UT 25 Sep QBl, 
TAv). Four Lark Buntings were 
found at the Provo Airport 
Dike, Utah, UT 3 Sep (ph. JBl), 
and singles were observed at 
Dyer, Esmeralda, NV 5-6 Sep 
(ph, GS, RS, DG) and 
Tonopah, Nye, NV 19 Sep (ph. 
GS, CL). A Grasshopper Spar- 
row was flushed at Key 
Pittman W.M.A., Lincoln, NV 
24 Oct (GS, ph. MM et ah). 
Sooty Fox Sparrows were re- 
ported at Porter Springs, Per- 
shing, NV 24 Sep (GS), Pyra- 
mid L., Washoe, NV 26 Sep 
(RS), and Circle L Ranch, Es- 
meralda, NV 27 Sep (GS), Red Fox Sparrows, 
equally rare in the Region, were observed at 
Lytle 10-12 Oct (RD, MH, ph. RF), Dyer, Es- 
meralda, NV 17 Oct (GS, ph. MM), and Car- 
son River Park, Carson, NV 2 Nov (RL). A 
Swamp Sparrow observed at Corn Cr. 17 Oct 
(p.a., MM) would provide one of a handful of 


documented Nevada records. White-throated 
Sparrows were observed at four Nevada loca- 
tions (in Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln, and 
Washoe) and three Utah locations (in Cache, 
Garfield, and Salt Lake) 6 Oct-27 Nov. 

A male Scarlet Tanager was a great find at 
Pahranagat 24 Oct (ph. GS, ph. MM, RS, DG). 
Utah’s first Pyrrhuloxia was photographed at 
Lytle 29 Sep (tRF); although this bird was in- 
credibly secretive and difficult to find, it lin- 
gered through at least 24 Oct Q&KB) and was 
eventually viewed by many persistent ob- 
servers. Surprisingly, the only Rose-breasted 
Grosbeak reported this season was a male at 
Deer Creek S.P., Wasatch, UT 26 Sep (NB). A 
Dickcissel photographed 13 Sep (FP) at 
Miller’s R.A. was one of several notable va- 
grants there this season. A Lawrence’s 
Goldfinch remained at Dyer, Esmeralda, NV 
5-19 Sep (ph. GS, DG, RS). 

Contributors and cited observers: David Al- 
lan, Tim Almond, John & Gisela Anderson, 
Tim Avery (TAv), Joel & Kathy Beyer, Jack 
Binch, Ned Bixler, Jeff Blisky 0^1), Je Anne 
Branca QBr), Carol Cantino, Stephen Carlile, 
KC Childs, Joan Clarke, Kristen Cornelia 
(KCo), Ed Conrad, Richard Coomber, Jeff 
Cooper (JCo), Maurice DeMille, Kevin 
DesRoberts, Stephen Dinsmore, Dean DiTom- 
maso, Robert Dobbs, Darlene Feener, Mike 
Fish, Craig Fosdick, Rick Fridell, John R. 
Fridell, Brian Gatlin, Dennis Ghiglieri, Bob 
Goodman (BGo), Gerrad Jones, Ron & 
Theresa Jones, Judy Jordan, Dave Hanscom, 
Jim Healy, Paul Higgins, Eric Huish, Meribeth 
Huizinga, Bob Huntington, Carl Ingwell, 
Noah Kahn, Chuck Larue (CLa), Andrew Lee, 
Jacque Lowery, Rob Lowry, Carl Lundblad, 
Bob MacDougal, Martin Meyers, Babette 
Michal (BMi), Randal Michal, Don Molde, 
Bernie Morris (BMo), Nathaniel Nye, Kathy 
Oakes, Ryan O’Donnell, Felix Owens, Fred 
Petersen, Gail Petersen, Eric Peterson, Will 
Pratt, Kristin Purdy, Ron Ryel, Jeffrey Saffle, 
Rick Saval (RSa), Rita Schlageter (RSc), Greg 
Scyphers, Dennis & Rebecca Serdehely Den- 
nis Shirley (DSh), Justin Shirley (JSh), Sam 
Skalak, Weston Smith, Steve & Cindy Som- 
merfeld. Rose Strickland, Jim Stuart OSt), 
Carolyn Titus, Jeanne Tinsman, Larry Tripp, 
Daniel Trujillo, Debbie Van Dooremolen, Paul 
Van Els, Alan Wallace, David Wheeler 
(DWh), Kevin Wheeler, Hilary White, Alan 
Williams (AWi), Robert Williams, Diane 
Wong, Dave Worley (DWo), Maryella Young, 
Richard Young. 1^ 


Rick Fridell, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources 
451 North SR 318, Hurricane, Utah 84737 
(rfridell@burgoyne.com) 


138 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


Alaska 


BEAUFORT SEA 


CHUKCHI SEA 


Prudhoe Bay 


BERING SEA 


u I. /“S' 

^ Rn 



,St.Paul Srisioi "I . 
Pribilofls.^ 

Bay 

Dutch Hart)or^ - * 


GULF of ALASKA 


ThedeTobish 


T he very cool and wet summer season 
extended well into September across 
the Region. Relatively settled, stable 
weather conditions that persisted over much 
of the season, especially on the Mainland, 
meant that migrant highlights were light to 
average. But there were the usual fall zingers, 
including potentially three new species for 
Alaska, one of these new for North America. 
The Aleutian Low was positioned such that 
few storms hit the Aleutians until late Sep- 
tember, while the Bering Sea saw moderate 
and fast-moving systems. These conditions 
seemed to limit Asian migrants in the early 
season, but later storms provided an array of 
birds from farther west. 

Waterbird concentrations in the northern 
half of the Bering Sea picked up strongly at 
the end of the season, highlighted by huge 
numbers of southbound eiders at Gambell. 
The Gambell crew produced the now expect- 
ed highlights, and this season’s coverage was 
the latest ever, which provided remarkable 
record-late dates and new departure data. The 
season ended as usual with varying numbers 
of semi-hardy species scattered mostly at 
southerly coastal sites, although the showing 
of late fall dates was not particularly strong. 
Even with modest extended coverage this sea- 
son, the North Slope again proved productive 
for oddities and late-lingering birds. 

WATERFOWL THROUGH 
NORTHERN GANNET 

Emperor Geese arrivals rivaled the earliest 
known records at each end of the species’ win- 
ter range, including an ad. at Shemya 1. 28 Aug 
(MTS) and 9 way e. at Kodiak 14 Sep (RAM). 
The 4 Snow Geese at Ketchikan 20 Aug (CAP) 
constituted a local first summer season record, 
while a lone bird at the same area 7 Nov (ph. 
JHL) provided a new local record-late date. 
Observers continue to provide new data and 
more details on the various subspecies of 


Cackling Geese, particularly in 
Southeast, where the identification 
of migrants and the timing of mi- 
gration are carefully noted. Inter- 
esting this year were quite a few 
mid-Nov Cackling Geese, with 
small numbers reported at 
skagway Gustavus through 12 Nov 
(NRH) and offshore at 
Sitka through 16 Nov 
(MET, MLW). Consid- 
ered very rare in late fall 
in the North Gulf, 2 
Cackling Geese were at Ko- 
diak 1 Oct-11 Nov (RAM). Decent Eurasian 
Wigeon counts included a peak of 71 at She- 
mya 1 Oct (MTS), 6 in the Homer area in late 
Sep-23 Oct (fide AJL), and a season total of 12 
at Gambell 30 Aug-24 Sep (PEL). An Ameri- 
can Wigeon was a casual fall bird for the w. 
Aleutians at Shemya 6 Oct (ph. MTS). 

The usual scattered, rare Aythya observa- 
tions in Southeast included 2 Canvasbacks at 
Sitka 28 Sep-18 Oct (MET, MLW, MRG) and 
up to 10 in Juneau 27-30 Oct (NRH). Ring- 
necked Duck numbers were above average, 
building in the Juneau area to a local record 
high 125 by 18 Oct (PMS); elsewhere, 7 at 
Homer 23 Oct (AJL) and 20 at Kodiak 25 Oct 
(RAM) represented near-record local fall tal- 
lies. On the early side were Tufted Ducks on 
St. Paul 1. 4-10 Aug (fide GB) and Shemya 29 
Aug (MTS). Extralimital Hooded Mergansers 
appeared at their regular fall dispersal sites in 
the w. half of the North Gulf, including sin- 
gles at Seward 11 Oct (CG), Homer 23-24 Oct 
(TB, AJL, LR), and Kodiak 24 Oct QBA, ph. 
RAM). Aside from a few early Aug reports of 
the Kenny L. birds, the season’s only Ruddy 
Ducks were singles at Juneau 20 Oct (NRH) 
and offshore at Sitka 17-20 Nov (ph. MRG, 
MLW, MET), the latter only a 2nd local record 
of this casual migrant. 


Loons off the Point at Gambell, where num- 
bers increased dramatically in late Sep, with 
120 on 27 Sep and 334 on 11 Oct (PEL, 
LHD), a record-high fall count there. The Oct 
coverage at Gambell also produced a new 
record one-day total for Yellow-billed Loons, 
with 157 streaming by the Point 4 Oct (LHD). 
Gambell’s season total for Yellow-billeds 
reached a record 316. A pair of Pied-billed 
Grebes that summered at Sitka’s Swan L. was 
discovered to have nested when 4 downy 
young were located 4 Aug (ph. MRG). Pied- 
billeds are rare, probably annual fall migrants 
and winter visitors in Southeast, and there are 
two prior breeding records in the Region, 
from Annette 1. and Cordova. Singles at 
Ketchikan 23 & 30 Nov (SCH, SC) and 
Bartlett Cove near Gustavus 24 Nov (first lo- 
cal record; GPS, PBSV, ph. JN) made a good 
seasonal showing. Two hundred Red-necked 
Grebes off Anchor Pt. n. of Homer 18 Nov 
(TE) may have been a late group staging pri- 
or to heading to winter sites in Kachemak Bay 
or points s., where birds are far more dis- 
persed. More unusual Western Grebe reports 
included singles n. of the more normal winter 
Southeast ranges, in Icy Strait 13 Sep (GPS), 
near the mouth of Glacier Bay 25 Nov (NRH), 
and at Sitka 16-17 Oct (DB). Westerns are lo- 
cally common in winter at favored sites in in- 
side waters from Sumner Strait southward. 

Severe storms in Oct apparently drove small 
numbers of Northern Fulmars into inside wa- 
ters in the greater Ketchikan area, including 
14 in Revillagigedo Channel 11 Oct (AJL) and 
3 off Mountain Pt. 17 Oct (AWP, SCH, WTY). 
Fulmars are common off the outer Southeast 
coast and into British Columbia waters, but 
there were only two prior Ketchikan area 
records and few others from the inside waters 
of Southeast. Details from late season pelagic 
transects across the North Gulf of Alaska con- 
tinue to add to our understanding of the sta- 


sa: 


It was a banner year for migrating eiders off the Point at Gambeii, where otherwise average or low numbers passed 
iearlier in the season (PEL, LHD). By the end of Sep, huge numbers of Spectacled and King Eiders and even record one- 
day peaks for Common Eiders poured by the Point. The main flight window was 27 Sep-mid-Oct, when a steady influx of new 
flocks produced new record-high counts for Gambell. The Spectacled Eider tally of 18,100 birds for the 27 Sep-14 Oct peri- 
od dwarfed Lehman's previous counts here: his highest prior daily count was 20 birds. Noteworthy, too, was the fact that ad. 
males made up nearly 100% of the migrating birds in the first few days of this passage. The largest single flock was an amaz- 
ing 500 birds 28 Sep. King Eiders also passed in record-breaking numbers in the same window, with a one-day tally of 775 
on 27 Sep and strong counts of 300-375 on four subsequent days. Common Eiders numbered 504 on several days following 
the initial 27 Sep push. New Gambell record tallies of Commons were 207 on 4 Oct and 465 e. of the village 6 Oct (PEL, LHD). 


Late coverage at Gambell produced inter- 
esting Arctic Loon totals, including single fly- 
bys on 5, 9, 10, & 12 Oct and a high count of 
3 on 7 Oct (all LHD), which combined with 
Sep reports add up to a record-high fall season 
total. Similar trends were noted for Pacific 


tus, habitats, and timing of less-common 
tubenoses. Mottled Petrel highlights from the 
NOAAs R/V Miller Freeman transects between 
Kodiak and a point over 370 km off the Alas- 
ka-British Columbia border included several 
at Albatross Bank (se. of Kodiak) 6 Oct, 9 e. of 


VOLUME 65 (2011) 


NUMBER 1 


139 



ALASKA 



Ketchikan, Alaska's Mountain Point vagrant trap provides an island of brushy de- 
ciduous habitat within a vast expanse of spruce-hemlock forest. Coastal geography 
at this end of Ketchikan appears to funnel migrants to corridors to the south and 
east. The three main thickets visible here have produced nearly twenty species 
listed as accidental or casual on the Alaska checklist. Photograph by Steven C. Heinl. 



The third Alaskan nesting of Pied-billed Grebe was documented at Swan Lake, 
Sitka 4 August 2010. In addition to the nearly full-sized chick and adult grebe, 
note the gray back of another chick, barely visible behind the Nymphaea leaves 
at right center. Photograph by Matt R. Goff. 



This Turkey Vulture, found along the bluff south of the Anchor River on the west- 
ern Kenai Peninsula 19 November 2010, represents the latest of roughly ten total 
Alaska records and the first for South-coastal Alaska. Photograph by Lauren 
Trimble. 



This very spooky Common Moorhen, a species new for Alaska, slunk around a Shemya Island pond 14 Oc- 
tober 2010. This bird could well have been of the nominate subspecies group from the Old World, which 
some authorities consider a species distinct from the New World moorhens, in part because of stark dif- 
ferences in their vocalizations. Photograph by Michael T. Schwitters. 



Furnishing a tenth record for Alaska, this first-cycle Heermann's Gull was photographed at Stone Rock, 
near Cape Chacon 1 6 August 2010. Photograph by Nick R. Hajdukovich. 


Kodiak’s Chiniak Bay 7 Oct, and 119 between Giacomini Seamount in the cen. 
Gulf to the British Columbia border 8 Oct (AJL). These represent some of the 
highest numbers for so late in the season in e. and especially s. sections of the 
Gulf of Alaska, where Mottled Petrel’s status is poorly known. The only Pink- 
footed Shearwater report came in from a research vessel over the continental shelf 
break se. of the Shumagain I. 12 Sep (DMT). Buller’s Shearwater came in from 
mostly the early part of the season concentrated near the s. edges of the conti- 
nental shelf in the North Gulf, with reports from s. Southeast, where 5 were 
counted well offshore 9 Oct (AJL); the ne. Gulf, with a single off Icy Pt. 27 Aug 
(SCH) and 132 from the Alaska Ferry between Yakutat and Kayak 1. 7 Oct (TD, 
fide AJL; details needed); and the w. North Gulf, with 4 over the Chiniak Gully, 
se. of Kodiak 19 Sep (ph. RAM ph.), 5 near Albatross Bank 6 Oct (ph. AJL), and 
7 e. of Kodiak 7 Oct (AJL). Of the handful of Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel reports off 
the Point at Gambell, a bird from 12 Oct (LHD) seemed extraordinarily late for 
that end of the Bering Sea, where casual in fall. A lone Fork-tailed at the Kenai R. 
mouth 13 Oct (TB) was at the extreme n. end of the species’ regular Cook Inlet 
distribution; there are a few prior fall reports there. The early Oct storms were 
likely responsible for moving Leach’s Storm-Petrels into inside waters of South- 
east, including 8 in Revillagigedo Channel 1 1 Oct (AJL) and small numbers at the 


140 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



ALASKA 



Found in the village of Kaktovik on the Beaufort Sea coast 31 July 2010, this 
Common Nighthawk represents one of very few Arctic Coast reports of this 


An intriguing snipe that flushed from Beluga Slough, Homer, Alaska 1 6 October 201 0 proved to be a Jack species, which is a very rare and local summer and early fall visitor in Southeast 

Snipe, providing the state's fourth documented record and the first from the mainland. In the field, the Alaska. Common Mighthawk breeds north into the southern Yukon Territory pine 

photographer noted a small snipe with a short, thick bill and two sets of bold yellowish back braces. forests. Photograph by Heather Craig. 



This Jack Snipe was found at the marsh near St. Paul Island’s Pumphouse Lake 1 1 September 2010— immature bird at Gustavus 26 November established a fifth record for that locality 
nearly the same location as one found in spring 2904. Photograph by Gavin Bieber. and one of the latest reports of the season. Photograph by M K. Drumheller. 



Indicative of the species' fast increase in Southeast Alaska was this concentration of at least 40 Eurasian 
Collared-Doves at Ketchikan 3 October 2010. Photograph by Kathy t£ Ripley. 


Ketchikan waterfront, where casual, 11-18 
Oct, with a maximum of 10 there 17 Oct 
(SCH, AWP, WTY). 

Two independent shipboard observers de- 
scribed an ad. Northern Gannet, obviously a 
potential first for Alaska, on successive dates 
but less than 24 hours apart in offshore waters 
of the Chukchi Sea in the vicinity of Barrow 
16 & 17 Aug (tJRR, tCL). This record may be 
a precursor to future such occurrences of 
species from North Atlantic and e. Canadian 
Arctic ranges, given the recent drastic reduc- 
tions and accelerated melting of the High Arc- 


tic pack ice. I am not aware of 
any Arctic Ocean reports of 
Northern Gannet w. of Baffin I. 


CORMORANTS 
THROUGH ALODS 

As has become typical in fall, a few Brandt’s 
Cormorants were located in Ketchikan, in- 
cluding one 12 Nov (DKP, CJM) and 3 on 27 
Nov (A’WP, SCH). Brandt’s are rare to uncom- 
mon winter visitors in open waters of the 
greater Ketchikan area. Quite interesting was 
a Pelagic Cormorant band recovery from 


Photographed on the last day of its 1 5-1 7 September 2010 stay, this immature 
Tennessee Warbler in the Gambell, Alaska boneyards established only the second 
Gambell and second Bering Sea record. Photograph by Bill Mauck. 


Ketchikan 21 Sep (ph. JHL) of an ad. banded 
at the Middleton I. colony in 2009 {fide SH). 
Seasonal movements of this common species 
are not well known, but North Gulf breeding 
birds migrate down the Pacific Coast into n. 
Washington and likely account for a portion 
of wintering birds in Southeast’s Inside Pas- 
sage habitats. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


141 


ALASKA 



This Spotted Towhee visited a Juneau area feeder starting 8 November 2010. 
Only the tenth ever found in Alaska, the bird's contrasting brownish secondary 
feathers indicate a hatch-year bird. Photograph by Nick R. Hajdukovich. 



This Clay-colored Sparrow at Ketchikan 6 November 2010 provided Alaska's ninth 
record. Unlike immature Chipping Sparrow, this species usually molts out of juve- 
nal plumage prior to its first southbound migration. Photograph by Steven C. Heinl. 


It was an unusually slow year for dispersing 
Great Blue Herons, which typically turn up at 
multiple sites w. of breeding areas often on the 
w. North Gulf Coast. This year’s highlight, 2 
Great Blue Herons were noted in Upper Cook 
Inlet off Anchorage’s Coastal Trail 15 Sep 
(WK), where casual in fall. Another Intermedi- 
ate Egret reached the w. Aleutians, this time an 
imm. at Shemya 28 Sep (*MTS) This individual 
follows Alaska’s first record, an ad. in nuptial 
plumage found dead at nearby Buldir I. in late 
May 2006. Spring overshoots of this species are 
occasional n. to Hokkaido, Japan. A Kenai Pen. 
resident submitted brilliant photographs of a 
Turkey Vulture from the immediate coastal 
bluffs at Anchor R. 19 Nov (ph. LT), a hrst for 
South-coastal Alaska, about the Region’s 10th 
ever, and the latest on record. Most of the pre- 
vious reports occurred in spring. The Swain- 
son’s Hawk observed in flight at Gustavus 19 
Nov (NKD) represents one of the latest for the 
Region and one of few from Southeast of this 
otherwise rare and local breeder from the e. In- 
terior. Rough-legged Hawk numbers were 
above average at Gambell this season, and one 
circling the Point 28 Sep (PEL) established a 


new local late date. Another 
Eurasian Hobby at Shemya 23- 
25 Sep (MTS) provided at least 
the 5th fall report from that is- 
land in the past decade. DeCic- 
co described a Peregrine Falcon 
of the peaUii subspecies over 
Gambell 8 Oct, a 2nd local re- 
port of this subspecies and the 
latest Peregrine report ever for 
Gambell, 

The season’s lone Sora ob- 
servation was a single at 
Juneau’s Pioneer Marsh 22 Aug 
(PAR), a favored site where the 
species has nested in the past. 
A juv. Common Moorhen 
skulked in a small sedge- 
rimmed pond at Shemya 14 
Oct (*MTS). The nominate 
subspecies, regular from the s. 
Kurile Is. and extralimital in s. 
Kamchatka and the Com- 
mander Is., is probably more 
likely than North American 
cachiiinans. We look forward 
to the molecular analysis of 
this individual to determine its 
subspecies. American Coot 
numbers were below par this 
season in Southeast, with only 
2 in Juneau 7 Oct-i- (m.ob.) 
and up to 3 in Sitka 22 Oct-26 
Nov (MRG). One was at An- 
chorage 2-4 Oct (SW, DWS), 
where casual in fall. 

Later coverage than usual at Gambell into 
late Oct led to new late dates in mid-Oct for 
that site for at least hve shorebird species. Get- 
ting very late for South-coastal Alaska was a 
Black-bellied Plover at the Kenai R. hats 
through 24 Oct (TB). Lehman tallied his 2nd 
best Pacific Golden-Plover count at Gambell, 
320, with 2 there 14 Oct (LHD) establishing a 
new late date. Six Lesser Sand-Plovers for the 
season at Gambell, 24 Aug-24 Sep (PEL et 
al.), was a strong showing. A single flock of 25 
Killdeer in Ketchikan 16 Oct OHL) provided a 
new local high count and was among the 
largest Alaska high counts for this uncommon 
species. A lone Terek Sandpiper was a rare fall 
season And on the Attu beaches 6 Aug (PWS, 
ph. WLP) and the season’s only report. Possi- 
bly record late for the Region was a Wander- 
ing Tattler at Juneau 19 Nov (ph. PMS). Most 
tattlers leave the Region by early Oct. The pro- 
ductive Gambell sewage pond supported a 
Lesser Yellowlegs 14-16 Sep (vt. PEL), a first 
fall St. Lawrence 1. record of this species, 
which is casual in the Bering Sea region, with 
most records from spring. Single Marsh Sand- 


pipers at Shemya 28 Aug and 4 Sep (different 
birds; ph. MTS) up the Region’s total to 8, all 
of which come in the fall season. Of the Up- 
land Sandpiper reports from Southeast, a lone 
bird at Gavan Hill, Baranof 1. 27 Aug (PHN) 
was significant, as this casual fall migrant is 
usually found on the n. Southeast Mainland. 

The Region’s 2nd Great Knot ever for the 
fall season, a juv., was nicely documented at 
St. Paul 1. 13 Aug (ph. SH). Eleven Sander- 
lings established a new fall season high for 
Gambell 30 Aug-6 Sep (PEL), where they are 
annual but rare. Notable stint reports, aside 
from the usual few Red-necked Stints in the w. 
Aleutians, included single Long-toed Stints at 
Attu 6 Aug (PWS, WLP) and Shemya 21-22 
Sep (MTS) and a juv. Little Stint at Adak 1. 18 
Aug (ph. IH). Little Stint remains casual in fall 
in the Aleutians, and this is only Adak’s 2nd 
record. Least Sandpipers are very rare mi- 
grants on Alaska’s North Slope, so a single at 
Colville Village in the Colville R. mouth on 
the Arctic Coastal Plain 14-21 Aug QH) was 
notable. Getting very late for the Region was a 
single Baird’s Sandpiper in Juneau 13-14 Oct 
(MWS, ph. NRH). Lang provided a good ac- 
count of Rock Sandpiper arrivals at their 
Homer wintering habitats, with the season’s 
first groups of 400-500 on 31 Oct (MM) build- 
ing to 1000 the next day, to a peak of 2000 by 
23 Nov (AJL). By 24 Nov, a group of 1500 
Rock Sandpipers in the Homer harbor includ- 
ed about 40 birds of the nominate subspecies 
(AJL), which is about average in winter there. 
Casual in fall in the Bering Sea and in the 
Aleutians, a lone Buff-breasted Sandpiper was 
at Shemya 5 Sep (MTS), in line with most oth- 
er fall reports. Two Jack Snipe were docu- 
mented this season, on St. Paul 1. 11-19 Sep 
(ph. GB et al.), in nearly the same location as 
the most recent previous local report there, 
and later a Mainland first at Homer 16 Oct 
(ph., tAJL). Notable Red Phalarope reports 
this season included a very late bird from Up- 
per Cook Inlet, where casual, on the Palmer 
Hayflats during freeze-up 16-17 Oct (ph. DC), 
and from inshore Southeast waters at 
Ketchikan, where small storm-driven groups 
included 8 on 17 Oct, 4 the next day, and one 
26 Oct (SCH, AWP, WTY). Red Phalaropes are 
casual in Southeast’s inside waters. 

It was an exceptional season for rare gulls, 
with all but one of the Alaska checklist 
species reported. Late Bonaparte’s Gulls made 
news in Juneau, and large numbers staged 
well into Nov, highlighted by an estimated 
10,000 birds between Gull 1. and Amalga 21 
Nov (GBV). While it is not unusual for strong 
numbers of migrant Bonaparte’s to be moving 
out of Southeast into late Nov, this Juneau es- 
timate was among that area’s largest counts 


142 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


ALASKA 



Two Pbeuctkus grosbeaks turned up in Southeast Alaska in autumn 2010 — a Rose-breasted Grosbeak at Ketchikan 18 September (left) and a Black-headed Grosbeak at Sitka 18 October. 
Photographs by Steven C. HeinI (left) and Carrie Hisaoka. 


ever and very late. Certainly one of the sea- 
son’s big surprises was the juv. Little Gull 
feeding in the surf at Gambell 12-13 Sep (vt. 
PEL, ph. BM, ph. WLP et ah), a St. Lawrence 
1. first and only the 2nd for the Bering Sea. 
This fall’s Franklin’s Gull sightings included 
an ad. in Icy Strait 7 Sep (MWS) and singles 
in Ketchikan 19 Aug (ph. NRH) and 10 Sep 
(ph. SCH), where this rare visitor has become 
a staple in fall since the late 1980s. An ad. 
Black-tailed Gull hung around the Dutch Har- 
bor area 4-22 Sep (EH, MS, CF, SL, SG, ph. 
AJL), a first record for the e. Aleutians and the 
season’s only report. We now have at least 28 
Alaska records since the first from Attu in 
1980, spanning scattered localities from St. 
Lawrence 1. to the w. Aleutians and e. to 
Ketchikan, from late Apr through late Oct. 
Another post-breeding Heermann’s Gull 
wandered beyond the species’ typical late 
summer range (w. Vancouver 1.) into South- 
east to Stone Rock, ne. of Cape Chacon in 
lower Clarence Strait, 16 Aug (ph. NRH). 
This 10th Alaska report follows a Jul record 
from Gustavus. Noteworthy Thayer’s Gulls 
included 2 in the Bering Sea, where casual, an 
ad. se. of St. Matthew 1. 26 Sep (ph. AJL), and 
a first-cycle bird ne. of St. Paul I. 3 Oct (AJL); 
a local high count 5 came from Kodiak 27 Oct 
(RAM). A single and then 2 ad. Thayer’s at 
Kaktovik on Barter I. in the e. Arctic 18 & 28 
Aug (LHD) provided early arrival dates for 
birds dispersing w. from Canadian Arctic 
breeding areas. Most Beaufort Sea migrants 
appear in Sep. Slaty-backed Gull reports away 
from the Bering Sea were above average; 4 
were around Kodiak 29 Aug-26 Oct (ph. 
RAM, JBA), at least one ad. at the Soldotna 
dump 21-22 Sep and 18 63: 23 Nov, and one at 
the nearby Kenai R. flats 13 & 21 Oct (TB); 


an ad. was on Prince of Wales I. in s. South- 
east 22 Sep (AWP SCH); and in Ketchikan, a 
second-cycle bird was seen 28 Sep-10 Oct 
and joined by another 10 Oct (AWP, SCH). 
Observers documented an ad. Glaucous- 
winged Gull on the Arctic Coast at the Opt- 
kilak R. mouth 17 Jul (ph. LHD), where this 
species is casual, mostly in late summer and 
more often reported from points w. of this lo- 
cality. Farther around in the n. Bering Sea, 
Glaucous-wingeds made an average fall sea- 
son showing at Gambell, highlighted by at 
least 12 there through 14 Oct (LHD), which 
established a new local late date. While view- 
ing the Ross’s Gull migration in early Oct, 
Barrow birders found a first-cycle Great 
Black-backed Gull 8-10 Oct (SCH, ph. AWP, 
ph. JR RLA) feeding in the nearshore gull 
frenzy at a fresh whale carcass. As for the 
Northern Gannet, changing sea ice conditions 
almost certainly contributed to this bird’s 
westward drift. Some references discuss “reg- 
ular” post-breeding records w. to s. Baffin I. 
and nw. Hudson Bay coastal sites. This fall 
bird follows Alaska’s only prior record from 
the Kodiak waterfront in late winter. 

Caspian Tern reached the Arctic Coast for 
the first time: 2 ads. were seen flying in the fog 
on the Optkilak R. flats on the Beaufort Sea 6 
Aug (LHD, RC, TLE). The closest Alaska re- 
ports are probably serveral summer reports 
from the e.-cen. Interior and from the Seward 
Peninsula. Whether these birds came from the 
Bering Sea or wandered up the Mackenzie R. 
is not known. Possibly the latest ever for the 
fall season, 2 juv. Arctic Terns were seen in a 
storm near Ketchikan 17 Oct (AWP, WTY, ph. 
SCH). A lone waif from Attu 1. 15 Oct is prob- 
ably the Region’s previous late record. Lehman 
described it as a poor jaeger season at the 


Point in Gambell, although late coverage pro- 
vided a new late date there for juv. Parasitic 
Jaeger, 3 Oct (LHD), while an ad. Long-tailed 
Jaeger e. of the village 29 Sep (LHD) consti- 
tuted a record-late departure by 13 days. 

The single Marbled Murrelet off the Point 
at Gambell 2 Oct (LHD) furnished only a 2nd 
fall report there. Marbleds are casual at any 
season in the Bering Sea, especially in the n. 
sections. Ancient Murrelets made a strong 
showing in the n. Bering Sea at Gambell, 
where the species has been found to be near- 
ly annual off the Point in very small numbers. 
Four birds started the season off at Gambell 
25-30 Aug, followed by a few passing the sea- 
watch in early Sep. Rather abruptly, 226 were 
counted 24 Sep, followed by small numbers 
and ending with 3 on 11 Oct, which estab- 
lished a new late date for St. Lawrence 1. 
(PEL, LHD). Recent information from the n. 
Bering Sea indicates that Ancients are more 
regular throughout the n. two-thirds of the 
Bering Sea and even to points n. of there, as 
fall dispersants in the late Aug-Sep period. 
While on a trans-Gulf cruise, Lang picked out 
3 Parakeet Auklets well offshore of s. South- 
east 9 Oct (AJL). Although Parakeets have 
been reported in very small numbers in 
Southeast’s three major seabird colonies (St. 
Lazaria, Hazy, and Forrester Is.), the species is 
casual beyond those immediate sites where 
nesting is not confirmed. 

DOVES THROUGH THRUSHES 

The large numbers of Eurasian Collared- 
Doves that invaded Southeast in Jun re- 
mained past Aug and included reports and 
descriptions of juvs. and other evidence sug- 
gestive of local breeding in Ketchikan. On at 
least one occasion, a juv. was seen pecking at 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


143 


ALASKA 


an accompanying ad’s, bill, and a pair was ob- 
served copulating in mid-Aug. Numbers con- 
tinued to increase in early Sep, and excep- 
tional counts were made in Oct especially, in 
s. Southeast, where double-digit feeder tallies 
were made into early Oct, culminating earlier 
with 100+ along the Ketchikan road system 
(SCH, AWP, KLW, KMR). High counts from 
other communities included 14 at a Wrangell 
feeder in early Aug (BHD), 12 in Petersburg 
in early Aug (BHP), and 10 in Juneau 17 Oct 
(VM). Two birds photographed off the Main- 
land at Angoon in mid-Sep (DF) and a single 
n. to Skagway 23 Nov (CDE ph.) were in new 
localities for the species. What was presum- 
ably the same Eurasian Collared-Dove that 
summered in Cordova reappeared in Nov 
(MB). While both Northern Saw-whet and 
Boreal Owls are known to migrate or disperse 
in the Region, our understanding of the tim- 
ing, distribution, and numbers involved re- 
mains incomplete. The 2nd year of a local 
Homer bander’s night effort produced incred- 
ible results, which contribute much to our 
knowledge about these small owls. Erom 63 
nights of mist-netting at a single backyard set- 
up, Sodergren captured 94 Northern Saw- 
whets and 24 Boreals, with the bulk of the 
former captured 4-15 Oct. The majority of 
both species were hatch-year individuals QS). 
Most fall reports of these species involve sin- 
gle birds, mostly from later in the season at 
North Gulf Coast sites. Another Common 
Nighthawk reached the Arctic Coast at Kak- 
tovik 31 Jul (ph. HC, SK, SB, RC), where the 
species is extremely rare. The nearest nesting 
Common Nighthawks are in the s. Yukon. 

A single Eork-tailed Swift reached Shemya 
3 Sep, where up to 3 were then variously re- 
ported 27 Sep-1 Oct (ph. MTS), all within 
the pattern of this rare fall visitor’s arrivals in 
the w. Aleutians. Earther aheld, Piston pro- 
vided excellent details of a Eork-tailed Swift 
observed during a storm at Disappearance 
Creek, Prince of Wales I. 13 Oct (TAWP). A 
Eork-tailed Swift at Middleton 1. in late Sep 
1989 represented the only prior Alaska re- 
port away from the Bering Sea. Anna’s Hum- 
mingbird is a very rare fall and winter visitor 
in the Region, mostly in Southeast, and its 
status has changed little since one in Juneau 
in mid-Oct 1967 established the first Alaska 
record. This fall, however, unprecedented 
numbers of Anna’s were located across the 
Region. Between Sep and late Nov, at least 8 
were noted in the Ketchikan area, singles 
were n. to Gustavus 21-22 Sep and 30 
Oct-30 Nov (MDS, NKD, DL), 4 were in 
Juneau 19 Sep-20 Nov (PAR, ph. NRH, ph. 
NAJ), and 4 were in Haines 22 Aug-8 Nov 
(MMS, ASB). Single Anna’s were also located 


in Seward 7 Oct-23 Nov (ph. CG), a local 
first, and n. to Anchorage 12 Oct (fide WT). 
Perhaps most noteworthy, a subad. male and 
female were discovered in a clearcut area 
above Ketchikan 8-22 Aug (SCH), in an area 
dominated with Vaccinium understory, typi- 
cal breeding habitat. The male was seen per- 
forming flight displays and chased the fe- 
male. The species is essentially unknown in 
the Region away from feeders. The season’s 
only notable extralimital Red-breasted Sap- 
sucker was one observed in Halibut Cove 
across from Homer for “about two weeks” in 
early Nov (MB, fide MK, AJL), one of few 
Kachemak Bay records but within the time- 
frame of most prior North Gulf reports. A 
juv. Northern Shrike at Shemya 1 Oct (ph. 
MTS) was only the 2nd for the w. Aleutians 
and within days of the previous record at the 
same location hve years ago. 

Cassin’s Vireo is very rare in fall, and most 
Alaska records come from Mainland South- 
east sites, so a single from Ketchikan 4 Sep 
(tJEK) provided a hrst local report and only 
the 2nd in the Alexander Archipelago. 
Horned Larks of the Old World subspecies 
flava were documented in the Bering Sea, 
where casual in fall, at Gambell 9 Oct (record 
late; LHD), and on a ship 166 km s. of Nuna- 
vat 1. in the e. Bering Sea 31 Aug-1 Sep (ph. 
AJL). A Horned Lark with a bright yellow face 
and throat at Gustavus 31 Oct (ph. NKD) was 
also likely flava. There are two specimens 
from Middleton L, Gulf of Alaska (University 
of Alaska Museum, unpubl.) and one prior re- 
port in Southeast of a yellow-faced Horned 
Lark (ph. at Juneau 6 Dec 2007; North Amer- 
ican Birds 62: 289). A Pacific Wren found near 
Kenai 16 Aug (TB) was likely only the 2nd for 
the nw. side of the Kenai Pen., where most 
records are from the coastal fringe Sitka 
SpruceAVestern Hemlock forest on the imme- 
diate North Gulf Coast. Unusual for the Inte- 
rior was a Golden-crowned Kinglet in the 
Alaska B.O. nets at Fairbanks 24 Aug (fide 
ND), only the 2nd such find in 19 years of ac- 
tive banding at that site. Notable Ruby- 
crowned Kinglet sightings included a very 
late n. Bering Sea bird that entered a Pt. Hope 
office 1 Nov (ph. FA) and 3 for the season at 
Gambell (PEL), with a new record-late bird 
hanging around through 7 Oct (ph. LHD). A 
conspicuous bright Phylloscopus warbler in 
the Brambling Bluff thickets at Shemya 8 Oct 
(*MTS) turned out to be a Wood Warbler, 
the 2nd ever for the w. Aleutians, just a day 
short of the first Alaska record from Shemya 
32 years ago; another was documented 7 Oct 
2004 in the Pribilofs. Several Sea of Japan fall 
records remain the only other accounts from 
the e. Palearctic of this otherwise e. Europe to 


cen. Russia breeder that winters in Africa. The 
Gambell Old Town debris produced a Dusky 
Warbler 10 Sep (AJL et ah), which brings 
Gambell’s cumulative fall total to 19 since 
1997. Another Yellow-browed Warbler 
found Gambell’s middens Sep 1 (tPEL), a 3rd 
for St. Lawrence 1. since the Region’s first was 
found there in fall 1999. Another was on St. 
Paul’s now famous Hutchinson Hill 13 Sep 
(tCF). An Acrocephalus warbler was discov- 
ered by Ake in the Gambell middens 9 Sep 
(ph. RLA, ph. AJL, vt., tPEL et al). With con- 
siderable effort, observers obtained numerous 
photographs, which appear to world authori- 
ties on the genus to indicate Blyth’s Reed 
Warbler (Acrocephalus dumetorum). The 
record is in review by the Alaska Checklist 
Committee. Still a casual species in fall, single 
Gray-streaked Flycatchers were at Shemya 
19 Sep and 2-7 Oct (ph. MTS), which was 
close to the latest report for the Region from 
10 Oct 2005. 

Single Siberian Rubythroats were in She- 
mya’s bluff thickets 29 Sep and 6 Oct (MTS). 
Westbound Northern Wheatears made an 
above-average showing at Gambell, with a 
season total 84 tallied 20 Aug-7 Sep (PEL), 
while a lone bird showed up there 4 Oct and 
remained to the 14th (ph. LHD), Gambell’s 
latest ever. A drive on the Nome-Teller Rd. 19 
Aug (CF) coincided with an exceptional wave 
of out-migrant Northern Wheatears toward 
the Bering Sea coast, about 1500 birds, most- 
ly seen in small flocks, noted all the way to 
Teller. A single Northern Wheatear at Shemya 
30 Aug-2 Sep (ph. MTS) accounted for the 
season’s only Aleutian report. An apparent 
family group of 6 Mountain Bluebirds was 
seen hawking at the jet. of the Taylor Hwy. 
and Alaska Hwy. e. of Tok 15 Aug (DT, fide 
ND) near where ads. were reported from ear- 
lier in the year. Of the normal handful of 
Southeast Mountain Bluebirds, a male ob- 
served in subalpine habitat near Ketchikan 20 
Sep OHL) provided a local hrst record for fall 
and only the 2nd ever at that locality. Most 
Mountain Bluebirds reported in Southeast are 
located at Mainland sites. Late season 
Townsend’s Solitaires seemed particularly 
ubiquitous 4-6 Nov, with a scattering of sin- 
gles around Anchorage through the period, 
one to 2 in the Palmer area (fide RW), 2 in the 
Homer benchberry trees 20 Nov+ (ph. AJL), 
and 6 in subalpine thickets near Windy Cor- 
ner in Turnagain Arm, s. of Anchorage, 19-20 
Nov (MB). Three were rare around Ketchikan 
15 Sep-9 Nov (ph. JHL, AWP, SCH). Lehman 
described this migration as the worst year he 
has recorded for Gray-cheeked Thrush at 
Gambell; only 2 were found 30 Aug-1 Sep 
(PEL); a Swainson’s Thrush there 17 Sep (vt. 


144 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


ALASKA 


PEL) brings the all-time fall Gambell count 
for that casual Bering Sea visitor to 11. Good 
photographs substantiated a very late Swain- 
son’s Thrush at Kodiak 17 Nov (ph. JP), Ko- 
diak’s 2nd ever. There are a few previous ear- 
ly Nov reports in the Region; the latest ever 
was an Anchorage bird seen during a 14 Dec 
snowstorm. Four Hermit Thrushes around 
Gambell sites 13-20 Sep (vt. PEL) made a 
good Bering Sea showing for his taiga breed- 
er. Two Eyebrowed Thrushes were at Shemya, 
first found 29 Sep-1 Oct, after which lone 
birds were seen 2 & 5 Oct (ph. MTS). With 
only a few reports in fall from the cen. Aleu- 
tians, a flighty American Robin at Shemya 3- 
4 Oct (MTS) was big news and a first for the 
w. Aleutians (a spring report from Attu was 
not verified). A Varied Thrush, another com- 
mon taiga breeder that is casual offshore in 
the Bering Sea, was at Gambell 21 Sep, with a 
different bird found there 22-24 Sep (vt. 
PEL). There are only three prior St. Lawrence 
1. records in fall. 

MIMIDS THROUGH HOUSE SPARROW 

A Bering Sea first, a Northern Mockingbird 
photographed at St. Paul 1. 14-15 Aug (ph. 
SH) took wandering to new limits even for 
Alaska, where this mimid is a sporadic, casu- 
al visitor to much of the s. Mainland and 
Southeast sites, with most records in late 
spring through Jul. As European Starlings 
continue to proliferate as breeders and fall 
staging birds around Anchorage, 15 near 
Girdwood 15 Oct (AJL) marked a first record 
from that locality 56 km s. of Anchorage. A 
Siberian Accentor was on St. Paul 1. 13 Sep 
(tCF) and another at Gambell 11 Oct (ph. 
LHD), for the latter site’s 14th fall record. 
While extralimital White Wagtails turn up oc- 
casionally at odd sites away from the species’ 
Bering Sea coast and the w. Aleutians Alaska 
range, a lone bird described as an ad. Black- 
backed was located during a snowstorm at 
Girdwood 8 Nov (tDR). We have only two 
Alaska records later than this individual and 
one prior report for Upper Cook Inlet. Get- 
ting late were 3 Olive-backed Pipits at She- 
mya 29 Sep followed by one there on 6 Oct 
(all MTS), which may be the Region’s latest 
ever for this casual fall migrant. Two Bohemi- 
an Waxwings at Shemya 10 Oct (ph. MTS) 
were exceptional for the Aleutians, where 
they are casual. Both Alaska breeding pallid- 
ceps (in fall) and ne. Asian centralasiae (in 
spring) are documented, with a few records 
each, mostly from the w. islands. Cedar 
Waxwing highlights included an exceptional- 
ly large flock of 63 from Ketchikan 31 Aug 
QHL), a single at Seward 18 Oct followed by 
4 there 23 Oct (CG, TE), and 9 on berry 


bushes in Homer 8 Nov (MR). This rare 
Southeast breeder seems to be increasing w. to 
the North Gulf Coast communities in late fall. 
Two flocks of McKay’s Buntings seen at sea 35 
km s. of St. Matthew I. 30 Sep (AJL) provided 
a rather late departure date from the species’ 
home range to winter sites on the adjacent 
Mainland. The first arrival dates for migrant 
McKay’s at Gambell to the n. span the late 
Aug-mid-Sep period. 

Gambell had most of the notable Bering 
Sea observations of parulids. Highlights were; 
the 2nd Tennessee Warbler ever there 15-17 
Sep (vt. PEL, ph. BM et al.); a season tally of 
8 Orange-crowned Warblers 6-21 Sep (vt. 
PEL); a Yellow Warbler 13-15 Sep (PEL, the 
21st Gambell fall record); 2 Yellow-rumped 
Warblers, including a late bird 1 1-14 Oct (ph. 
LHD); a remarkable Mourning Warbler, Alas- 
ka’s 5th and a first for the Bering Sea, 13 Sep 
(tPEL); and a late Wilson’s Warbler 25 Sep 
(vt. PEL). A Orange-crowned was unexpected 
about 130 km s. of Cape Newenham 25 Aug 
(ph. AJL). Two Yellow-rumped Warblers were 
in the Unalaska area ornamental trees 17 Aug 
(ph. AJL), and one was about 130 km ne. of 
St. Paul 1. 3 Oct (AJL). A Yellow Warbler at 
Homer was record late there 17 Oct (TT). A 
Palm Warbler at Fairbanks 14-20 Oct (ND et 
al.), another in the Juneau area 13 & 21 Oct 
(PMS, ph. NRH), and another in Girdwood 9 
Nov (tLHD; Upper Cook Inlet’s first) were lo- 
cal rarities. A Northern Waterthrush that 
landed on a vessel 72 km se. of Kodiak City 
19 Sep (ph. RAM) was a first for the archipel- 
ago. A record-late MacGillivray’s Warbler at 
Ketchikan 24 Oct (AWP, SCH, WTY) was fol- 
lowed by a record-late Common Yellowthroat 
s. of Ketchikan 6-9 Nov (SCH, AWP, ph. JHL). 
Rare for the North Slope, a Wilson’s Warbler 
was found on the coast at the Colville R. delta 
4 Aug OH). 

A Spotted Towhee frequented Suchanak’s 
Juneau feeder 8 Nov+ (ph. PMS). The Juneau 
area corners the market on Alaska’s Spotted 
Towhee records, with eight of the now 10 Re- 
gion reports, most of them in late fall. Four 
Chipping Sparrows offshore at Gambell for 
the season 28 Aug-6 Oct (PWS, vt. PEL, ph. 
LHD) brings the cumulative fall season tally 
for that locality to a surprising 21 individuals 
since 1998. Single Chipping Sparrows from 
Ketchikan 3 Oct (SCH) and Sitka 17 & 25 
Nov (MLW, MET) were getting late and con- 
sidered casual offshore for Southeast. A fresh 
Clay-colored Sparrow at Ketchikan 6-9 Nov 
(ph. SCH, PJP, JLJ) constituted only the Re- 
gion’s 9th report of this species, which breeds 
as close to Alaska as ne. British Columbia. Fif- 
teen Savannah Sparrows from Gambell’s sea- 
son 3-29 Sep (PEL) made a strong offshore 


Bering Sea showing, while 2 more birds 8 & 
13 Oct (LHD) established a record-late date 
for that site. A skittish Savannah Sparrow at 
Shemya 21 Sep (MTS) provided a 2nd fall 
sighting there; the species is casual in fall in 
the cen. and w. Aleutians. The Gambell mid- 
dens produced single Red Fox Sparrows 10, 
13, & 17-19 Sep and 5 Sooty Fox Sparrows 
10-21 Sep (vt. PEL). A Fox Sparrow in the 
Colville R. delta 5 Oct QH) was very rare for 
the n. coast and found just ahead of freeze-up. 
A Lincoln’s Sparrow at Gambell 17-18 Sep (vt. 
PEL) made only that site’s 8th fall record. 
Swamp Sparrow made its best showing ever 
in Southeast this fall, with 9 located through 
the season, including singles in Ketchikan 25 
Oct-5 Nov and 13 Nov (ph. SCH, AWP, ph. 
NRH); one in Juneau 7 Nov (GBV); at least 3 
in the Gustavus area, with 2 on 1 Nov, one on 
6 Nov, and another 14 Nov (ph. NKD); and 3 
at Mud Bay, n. Chichagof 1. 27 Nov (LHD, 
NRH). It was clearly a record-breaking year 
for White-throated Sparrow, which is typical- 
ly found each fall in small numbers at a scat- 
tering of coastal sites. In Southeast, White- 
throateds materialized seemingly everywhere 
beginning in late Sep, with season totals of 5 
in Ketchikan, several in Sitka, and 8 injuneau 
(m.ob., fide SCH). Notable elsewhere were 
single White-throated Sparrows from Kodiak 
15-16 Nov (ph. CH, RAM), a local 7th overall 
record, and in s. Anchorage 27 Nov (ph. EG), 
where there are only a few prior reports. Two 
White-crowned Sparrows at Gambell 7-9 Oct 
(ph. LHD) established a new late date for that 
locality. The latest Bering Sea area record ap- 
pears to be a White-crowned at Kotzebue 31 
Oct. Golden-crowned Sparrow reports in- 
cluded an average fall showing of 7 at Gam- 
bell 13-26 Sep (vt. PEL) and one on a ship lo- 
cated about 175 km wsw. of Cape Newenham 
29-30 Aug (ph. AJL). A Rustic Bunting at 
Gambell 11 Sep (DWS, vt. PEL, ph. AJL et al.) 
provided St. Lawrence l.’s. long-awaited first 
fall report. Another imm. Rustic foraged in 
Shemya thickets 28-29 Sep (MTS). Another 
appeared at Ketchikan 28 Oct-8 Nov, at the 
same feeder that hosted 2 in fall 2009 
ph. SCH). 

Upper Cook Inlet’s 2nd Western Tanager 
was an imm. at Anchorage 8 Sep (tEE); one at 
Juneau 5 Oct (ph. NRH) added to the very few 
Oct reports for the Region. A crisp Rose- 
breasted Grosbeak at a Ketchikan feeder 18 
Sep (ph. SCH) provided only the 9th Alaska 
record of this species. A Black-headed Gros- 
beak visited a Sitka feeder 18-19 Oct (ph. 
CKH); this species is now a rare (primarily 
late spring/early summer) visitor mostly in 
Southeast. Migrant Red-winged Blackbirds are 
extremely rare away from their few known 


VOlUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


145 


ALASKA 


isolated nesting colonies in South-coastal 
Alaska, so a single in Kasilof on the w. Kenai 
Pen. 23 Sep (CV) provided a notable report 
where there are few other observations. Of the 
usual handful of Brown-headed Cowbird ob- 
servations, 2 males in North Pole near Fair- 
banks 18 Aug (SBr, fide ND) and a single out 
the Chena Hot Springs Rd. n. of Fairbanks 28 
Aug (SH) were significant for the Interior. An 
ad. male Brewer’s Blackbird at Ketchikan 2 
Nov+ (ph. JHL, AWP, SCH) established the 8th 
local record. There are still fewer than 20 Alas- 
ka records of this species, mostly from fall. A 
female Common Rosefinch near the middens 
2 Sep (GB, m.ob.) made Gambell’s 7th fall 
record. Late coverage at Gambell produced 
that locality’s hrst fall Eurasian Bullfinch 9 
Oct (ph. LHD). Following successful nesting 
in Ketchikan, up to 8 House Sparrows were 
observed regularly into Dec near local nest 
sites and nearby feeders (AWP, SCH, ED). 


Contributors and observers: R. L. Ake, E 
Akpik, J. B. Allen, G. Bieber, S. Berns, S. Bred- 
benner, S. Brown, D. Brushafer, M. Burcham, 
T. Burke, S. Carson, R. Churchwell, E. W. 
Clark, H. Craig, D. Crowson, E. DeBoer, L. H. 
DeCicco, D. F Delap, B. H. Demerjian, L. De- 
vaney, J. DeWitt, N. DeWitt (Interior), T. Di- 
marzio, N. K. Drumheller, C. E. Eckert, E. 
Elias, T. Eskelin, T. L. Evens, C. Feeney, R. 
Fletcher, D. Fox, D, Frank, P. & C. Fritz, C. A. 
Fultz, T. Galloway, D. D. Gibson, R. E. Gill, 
M. R. Goff, R. J. Gordon. Griswold, E. Gropp, 
C. Harwood, S. Hatch, S. Hauser, N. R. Haj- 
dukovich, S. Hegarty, S. C. Heinl (Southeast), 
C. Heitman, I. Helmericks, J. Helmericks, C. 
Hisaoka, E. Hunn, J. L. Johnson, S. Kendell, 
W. Keys, M. Kissling, J. F Koerner, D. Krug, 
A. J. Lang (Kenai Peninsula), C. Leedy, P E. 
Lehman, D. Lesh, J. D. Levison, J. H. Lewis, S. 
Lorenz, M. & R. A. Macintosh, V Madding, 
C. J. Mannix, B. Mauck, B. Meiklejohn, M. 


Michaud, J. Neilson, P. H. Norwood, B. B. 
Paige, B. H. Pawuk, W. L. Peavler, A. W. Pis- 
ton (Southeast),]. Pontti, D. K. & S. Porter, P. 

J. Pourchot, J. Puschock, L. Raymond, M. 
Renner, K. M. Ripley, J. R. Rose, P. A. Rose, D. 
Roseneau, D. Rudis, R. L. Scher, M. W. 
Schwan, M. T. Schwitters, D. Shaw, M. Smith, 
M. D. Slovin, J. Sodergren, D. W. Sonneborn, 

K. Stenek, G. P. Streveler, P M. Suchanek, P. 
W. Sykes, M. E. Tedin, T. Tobish, D. Toebe, L. 
Trimble, D. M. Troy, W. Tweit, G. B. van Vliet, 
P B. S. Vanselow, C. Vincent, M. L. Ward, S. 
Weltz, K. L. Wendt, R. Winckler, J. Withrow, 
W. T. Young. 

Referenced written details (T), specimens (*), 
photographs (ph.), and videotape (vt.) are on 
file at the University of Alaska Museum. Q 


Thede Tobish, 2510 Foraker Drive 

Anchorage, Alaska 99517, (tgtljo@gci.net) 


British Columbia 




I Atlin 




Dease 
• Lake* 


Fort • 
Nelson 


A Mackenzie 

• Prince Rupert * 


• j Fort St. John 
•! Dawson Creek 


Haida 

Gwaii 


\ 


Queen : 
Charlotte -? 
City 


Tofino* 



Vancouver 

Island 


* Prince 
George ■ 

Williams 
Lake • 

RevelstokeY 
Kamloops# 

•Vernon A 
‘ Vancouver • Kelowpa I 



Penticton \ 


Victoria 


Cranbrook 


Chris Charlesworth 


T he transition to La Nina conditions 
made headlines throughout the fall of 
2010 in British Columbia, bringing 
cool and wet weather to much of the 
province. Numerous Pacific storm systems 
rolled into the coast throughout the early fall, 
bringing rains and wind with them. The dry 
interior of the province enjoyed a fair amount 
of sun and moderate temperatures that lasted 
well into October. By mid-November, much 
of the province was in a deep freeze, unfortu- 
nately ending the stays of a number of south- 


ern rarities such as Little Blue Heron and 
Northern Parula. 

WATERFOWL THROUGH CRANES 

Several reports of Greater White-fronted Geese 
were received from sites across the interior, 
where it is a fairly rare migrant. One was with 
a flock of Canada Geese e. of Quilchena in the 
Nicola Valley 9 Aug (WW); 2 were nearby at 
the Quilchena G.C. 30 Sep (TM). In the 
Okanagan, 9 were at Munson’s Pond in Kelow- 
na 17 Oct (CC, RT) and 2 on Osoyoos L. 17 
Oct (MTh). Snow Geese, also rare migrants 
throughout the interior of the province, were 
noted at a number of locales. Single Snow 
Geese were reported at the s. end of Skaha L., 
Penticton 7 Oct (Janna Leslie) and at Summer- 
land 27 Oct (Mils Hikichi). Three were at 
Munson’s Pond, Kelowna 17 Oct (CC, RT) and 
3 on Osoyoos L. the same day (MTh). Near 
Kamloops, a flock of 13 was found at Stump L. 
in Oct (fide RH); 7 remained through 19 Oct 
(RH). Casual in the interior, 4 Brant made a 
nice find on Okanagan L. 4 Nov (CC, Roxanne 
Jacobs). An ad. male Long-tailed Duck ap- 
peared the mouth of Vernon Cr. near Vernon 7 
Nov (CS). Red-breasted Mergansers, rare in 
the interior, were found at Eaglet L. 11 Nov 
(CA) and Tachick L. 12 Nov (CA, NK); both 
locations are near Prince George. A female was 
at Sutherland Bay, Kelowna 5 Nov (CC). 

A Pacific Loon was at Tachick L. near Prince 
George 12 Nov (CA), and another was on 


Okanagan L., Penticton 22 Oct QG et ^1.). A 
trip across the Hecate Straight from Prince Ru- 
pert to Haida Gwaii produced 6 Yellow-billed 
Loons 4 Nov (RC, JJ, JF, CE). Stray Clark’s 
Grebes appeared at Tsawwassen 30 Oct (IP) 
and at Sutherland Bay, Kelowna 26 Oct (CC). 
Tubenoses of note included a Murphy’s Petrel 
seen off the n. tip of Vancouver 1. 20 Aug (RC) 
and a Great Shearwater off the w. coast of Van- 
couver 1. near Tofino 12 Sep (Michael Mullen 
et ah), the 3rd for the province and best docu- 
mented. Rarely seen in waters near Vancouver, 
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels made two appear- 
ances to the Tsawwassen area this fall, with 
one seen 27 Aug (GM) and 2 on 5 Sep (GM). 
Rare but regular in the interior, a Double-crest- 
ed Cormorant was observed at Nulki L. near 
Vanderhoof 3 Nov (CA, NK). The only Great 
Egret reported in the interior this fall was one 
at Vaseux L. 17 Sep (TM). One of the star birds 
for the period was the province’s 3rd Little 
Blue Heron, an imm. that appeared at the 
mouth of Powers Cr. in West Kelowna 11 Nov 
(Scott Thomson, m.ob.). The bird remained 
until 20 Nov and thrilled many birders. Tem- 
peratures plunged near the end of the its stay; 
when last seen, the bird was huddled in icy wa- 
ters during a wind storm. 

The fall saw a scattering of Broad-winged 
Hawk records as usual. An ad. was seen flying 
over West L. near Prince George 7 Sep (CA); 
another at Cluculz L. near Prince George was 
observed chasing a Red Squirrel through the 


146 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


BRITISH COLUMBIA 



This Great Shearwater, located about 50 kiiometers off Tofino, Vancouver Island, British Columbia on 12 September 2010, stayed 
around an active group of trawlers; there are two previous reports of the species for the province. Photographs by Pep Arms. 


branches of a large conifer 13 Sep (Lee Foster). 
In the Okanagan, where Broad-winged Hawk 
is quite rare, one flew over Vaseux Lake B.O. 
28 Aug (DB). From atop Mount Revelstoke, a 
juv. was reported 17 Sep (RC). On Vancouver 

l. , one was in Victoria at Topaz Park 23 Sep 
(David Geoffrey, Jean Newell). Also rare on 
Vancouver L, a juv. Swainson’s Hawk was at 
Rocky Point B.O. in Metchosin 7 Oct (Rick 
Schortinguis). Very thin on the ground in late 
fall and winter in n.-cen. British Columbia, a 
Sharp-shinned Hawk was seen well in Prince 
George 26 Nov QB). Always a treat, a Prairie 
Falcon was at Boundary Bay near Vancouver 
21-23 Nov (KL et al). On the lower mainland, 
a Gyrfalcon was at Boundary Bay 12-30 Nov 
(MW, m.ob.), while in the Okanagan, one ap- 
peared near Oliver 22 Nov (RC, AB, IP). 

SHOREBIRDS THROUGH MIDS 

Golden-plovers move through the interior in 
small numbers and are always a welcome 
sight. American Golden-Plover is rare but 
seen annually, wherease Pacific Golden-Plover 
has only been recorded a handful of times. 
Thus when one juv. of each visited Robert L. 
in Kelowna 15-18 Sep (CF, JM, CC, m.ob.), it 
was cause for much excitement. The most 
stunning shorebird record of the season was a 
juv. Wood Sandpiper at the Reifel Refuge in 
Ladner 12 & 16 Oct (Al & Donna McKenzie, 

m. ob.). The bird was frustratingly unpre- 
dictable, but a good number of people saw the 
bird, and some obtained good photographs. 
An Upland Sandpiper along the Blenkinsop 
Connector Trail in Victoria was a nice find 4 
Aug (IC). Seen by many at “The Scrape” in 
Delta, a juv. Hudsonian Godwit lingered 4-11 
Sep (RC, IP, m.ob.). Singles were also reported 
at Iona Sewage Ponds 18 Sep (TP) and near 
Prince George at the Shelley Sludge Lagoons 6 
Aug QB). The only Bar-tailed Godwit for the 


period was a juv. at Brunswick Point in Ladner 
2-11 Sep (MT, m.ob.). Rare in the interior, a 
juv. Ruddy Turnstone was a good find at 
Salmon Arm 25 Aug (DC). A first for the ever- 
expanding Okanagan Valley list was a juv. 
Surfbird along a beach n. of Summerland 16 
Aug (Trevor Herriot). At the interior’s shore- 
bird hotspot, Salmon Arm, a juv. Sanderling 
was seen 25 Aug, with up to 6 
present 31 Aug (DC). In 
Princeton, 2 Sanderlings were 
seen 1-2 Sep (Patricia Elwell). 

An extremely tardy Pectoral 
Sandpiper was found in a field 
near Eaglet L., Prince George 6 
Nov (NK, Elizabeth Hewison, 

Cathy Sweet). The usual trick- 
le of juv. Sharp-tailed Sand- 
pipers came in from various lo- 
cations around Vancouver, in- 
cluding one at Bounday Bay 21 
Sep (Al McTavish et al.) and up 
to 2 at Reifel Refuge 2-17 Oct 
(Michelle Lamberson, m.ob.). 

A single Dunlin was at Salmon 
Arm 5 Nov (DC). A smattering 
of Stilt Sandpipers from around 
s. British Columbia was found, 
including single juvs. at Robert 
L. in Kelowna 7 Aug (CC et 
al.) and Salmon Arm 9 Aug 
(DC). By 21 Aug, there were 18 
Stilt Sandpipers at Salmon Arm 
(DC). On the w. Coast of Van- 
couver I., singles were at Long 
Beach 5 Aug (AD) and 15 Sep 
(CC et al.), and another was at 
Chesterman Beach near Tofino 
31 Aug (Sandy McRuer). Re- 
ports of Buff-breasted Sand- 
pipers were few and far be- 
tween this fall. At Boundary 


Bay, a juv. found 8 Sep and was joined by one 
more 14 Sep and another 19 Sep (PC, m.ob.). 
In the interior at Salmon Arm, a juv. was 
found 20 Sep (DC). A juv. Ruff was at the 
Sandspit Airport, Haida Gwaii 26 Sep QB). On 
Vancouver I., a juv. was at Whiffen Spit in 
Sooke 17-24 Sep Sandy Bowie, Kevin 
Ford). Right on time, in Prince George a juv. 
Short-billed Dowitcher appeared 6-8 Aug 
(NK, CA). 

Rare fall migrants on interior lakes, 2 ad. 
light-morph Parasitic Jaegers were reported 
on Osoyoos L. 19 Sep {fide RC); another was 
on Shuswap L. near Salmon Arm 7 Aug (Prue 
Spitman). Multiple Franklin’s Gulls were re- 
ported throughout the interior this fall; the 
high count was of 4 juvs. at Salmon Arm 31 
Aug (DC). A first for the islands of Haida 
Gwaii, a third-cycle Lesser Black-backed 
Gull was seen at an estuary near Sandspit 
from 25-27 Sep QB). An ad. appeared 22 Nov 
at the Maude Roxby Bird Sanctuary in Kelow- 
na (RC, AB, IP); the Kelowna area has had an 

ad. spend the past nine consecutive winters. 
Casual on lakes of the s. interior in fall, a juv. 
Arctic Tern was photographed at Salmon Arm 
16-17 Sep (DC). 



Furnishing a first record for the Okanagan Valley was this juvenile Surfbird at 
Okanagan Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia on 16 August 2010. Photograph 
by Trevor Herriot. 



This juvenile Ruff showed very nicely at Whiffen Spit near Sooke on Vancouver Is- 
land, British Columbia 1 9 Octocber 2010. Photograph by Russell Cannings. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) * NUMBER 1 


147 



BRITISH COLUMBIA 





nearby on Okanagan L. in 
Summerland 4 Oct (Beth 
Wick). An unusual sight in 
the Straight of Georgia, a 
Cassins Auklet was reported 
at Tsawwassen 27 Aug (GM). 
A male Costa’s Hummingbird 
visited a feeder in Vancouver 
throughout the entire period 
(Dave Carmean, m.ob.). Very 
rare in late fall, an imm. Ru- 
fous Hummingbird visited a 
feeder in Oliver 25 Oct-5 
Nov (BM, m.ob.). A rash of 
Western Scrub-Jays sightings 
A rare visitor to the Vancouver, British Columbia area, especially in late fall and win- came from the Fraser Valley, 
ter, this Yellow-breasted Chat was photographed at Alaksen National Wildlife Refuge including a bird in Manle 

iO Hovembei 20^0. Photograph by TakShibata. . u • j r 

^ ' Ridge that has remained tor 

well over a year (Roger Craik, m.ob.); others 

were on the University of British Columbia 

campus in Vancouver 1 Oct (PC), Blackie Spit 

in White Rock 30 Sep Qay Black), and at Terra 

Nova in Richmond 2-12 Nov (RC, m.ob.). 


DOVES THROUGH FINCHES 

Unusual away from the dry s. interior, a 
Lewis’s Woodpecker was in the Coquitlam 
area 29 Aug (HM); possibly the same bird was 
seen at Colony Farm in Coquitlam 18 Sep 
(HM). Furnishing only the 3rd record for n.- 
cen. British Columbia, a Lewis’s Woodpeck- 
er was in a Prince George yard 13-16 Sep 
(Christopher Coxson, m.ob.). 

Two Blue Jays were a hne find in Creston 7 
Aug (Linda Van Damme), as was another in 
Comox 25-28 Nov (Heather Pratt). Very rare 
on Vancouver L, an Alder Flycatcher was 
banded at the Rocky Point B.O. in Metchosin 3 
Sep (IC et ah). Dusky Flycatchers were report- 
ed from the Iona 1. area near Vancouver 7 & 14 
Sep (MB). Rare on the outer coast at Vancou- 
ver L, a Say’s Phoebe was seen perched on 
driftwood on Stubbs 1. near Tofino 6 Sep (AD). 
Seen well in flight and heard calling was a 
Great Crested Flycatcher in the Blaeberry Val- 
ley n. of Golden in the Rocky Mountain 
Trench 27 Sep (Doug Leighton). A Tropical 
Kingbird made a brief appearance at the Eng- 
lishman R. estuary near Parksville on Vancou- 
ver L, 26 Sep (Pierre Geoffray). Another was at 
the Reifel Refuge in Ladner 5 Oct (LC, m.ob.), 
and most likely the same bird frequented near- 
by Brunswick Pt. 8-12 Oct. A Philadelphia 
Vireo was photographed at Island 22 Park near 
Chilliwack and was seen by a lucky few 10-13 
Nov (C. MacDonald, G. Gadsen et al). 

In the Okanagan, a Tennessee Warbler was 
banded at the Vaseux Lake B.O. 13 Aug (DB); 
another was on Vancouver 1. near Ucluelet 15 
Sep (CC). Single Palm Warblers were noted at 
Maplewood Flats in North Vancouver 2-25 


The Okanagan Valley's first Northern Parula, this gem de- 
lighted birders for nearly two weeks at Inkameep Provincial 
Park near Oliver, British Columbia 8-21 (here 13) November 
2010. Photograph by Jess Findlay. 


First for the Haida Gwaii islands, this Grasshopper Sparrow 
was photographed at Skidegate 8 November 2010. Photo- 
graph by Jess Findlay. 

A Yellow-billed Cuckoo, reported almost an- 
nually in British Columbia in recent years, was 
in a private yard in Creston 20-22 Oct (RC, 
m.ob.). Casual anywhere away from the ocean, 
an Ancient Murrelet found dead on a beach in 
Penticton 23 Nov Ootitifer Smith); this could 
have been the same hire! that was reported 


Nov (Quentin Brown, m.ob.) and at Tofino 2 
Oct (AD). The rarest warbler of the fall was a 
Northern Parula seen by many during its stay 
at Inkameep P.R near Oliver 8-21 Nov (DC, 
TM, m.ob.). An imm. Chestnut-sided Warbler 
was banded at Machete L, near Revelstoke 18 
Sep (fide RC). A first for Haida Gwaii, an 
imm. Chestnut-sided Warbler was seen 
along the shores of Skidegate Inlet 6-8 Nov 
(RC, JF,JJ, CE). A rare but annual migrant on 
Vancouver L, a Northern Waterthrush was at 
Swan L. in Victoria 15-25 Aug (CSa et ah). A 
cooperative Yellow-breasted Chat was discov- 
ered at the Alaksen N.W.R. in Ladner 30 Nov 
and remained well into Dec (PD, m.ob.). 

Single Lark Sparrows remained at Colony 
Farm in Coquitlam 26 Sep-1 Oct (Dave Shutz, 
m.ob.) and at Whiffen Spit in Sooke on Van- 
couver 1. 22-24 Sep (Robin Robinson, m.ob.). 
Another first for Haida Gwaii was a Grasshop- 
per Sparrow found at Skidegate 8 Nov QJ, RC, 
CE, JF). An imm. Harris’s Sparrow at Scout L, 
Williams L. 29 Sep (Kris Andrews) was appar- 
ently the only one reported this season, but 
White-throated Sparrows were reported from 
nearly a dozen locations in s. British Columbia 
this fall; of particular interest was one at the 
Dixon Entrance G.C. near Masset, Haida Gwaii 
7 Nov (RC et al). A second-year male Indigo 
Bunting was banded at the Tatlayoko B.O. 24 
Aug (Steve Ogle), and another was banded at 
Colony Farm in Coquitlam 3 Jul and recap- 
tured 25 Sep (Derek Matthews). A Red-winged 
Blackbird on Haida Gwaii 6 Nov (RC, JF, JJ, 
CE) was locally rare; there are fewer than 10 
records for the islands. With fewer than five 
records for Haida Gwaii, a Brewer’s Blackbird 
was of interest 6 Nov, as was a male Rusty 
Blackbird at Sandspit 5 Nov (RC et al). Star 
icterid of the period was a male Orchard Oriole 
at mouth of French Cr. near Parksville on Van- 
couver 1. 3-5 Sep Qohn Purves, m.ob.). A male 
Brambling near Naikoon RP on Haida Gwaii 7 
Nov (RC, JF, JJ, CE) was an excellent find. 

Observers: Cathy Antoniazzi, Avery Bartels, 
Adrian Dorst, Mike Boyd, James Bradley, 
Doug Brown, Peter Candido, Russell Can- 
nings, Don Cecile, Chris Charlesworth, Ian 
Cruikshank, Pete Davidson, Cameron Eckert, 
Jess Findlay, Cam Finlay, Jim Ginns, Rick 
Howie, Jukka Jantunen, Clive Keen, Jeremy 
Kimm, Nancy Krueger, Kevin Louth, James 
Maegregor, Hilary Maguire, Thor Manson, 
Guy Monty, Tom Plath, Ilya Povalyaev, Chris 
Saunders (CSa), Chris Siddle, Mike Tabak, 
Mike Thorn (MTh), Ryan Tomlinson; Wayne 
Weber, Mark Wynja. O 


Chris Charlesworth, 571 Yates Road, #106 
Kelowna, British Columbia VI V 2V5 


148 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


Oregon & Washington I 



David Irons 
Douglas Schonewald 
Brad Waggoner 
Bill Tweit 


O ne of the constants of Regional edit- 
ing is that nothing remains constant. 
Aside from birds moving generally 
north in the spring and south in the fall, all 
else seems to be in flux. Just when it seems 
we’ve gained a fix on when or where a certain 
vagrant is likely to appear or when we might 
expect the peak flights of a common migrant, 
along comes an outlier or, perhaps, a series of 
outliers (thus a trend?) that sends us scram- 
bling for answers. Increasing observer effort, 
combined with our ability to share our dis- 
coveries in real time, has changed the playing 
field in ways we are just starting to appreciate. 
When we hear that you just found a Sabine’s 
Gull at your local reservoir, many of us will be 
inspired to head out to our local reservoirs in 
hopes of duplicating your results. Our re- 
sponses often bear fruit. If the birding fates 
align, not only will we find a Sabine’s Gull or 
two, but a Parasitic or perhaps a Long-tailed 
Jaeger will be chasing them around. In some 
instances, the positive feedback loop created 
by our enhanced capacity to share sightings 
seems to produce a “Patagonia Picnic Table 
Effect” on steroids. 

Weather was barely a factor in shaping this 
season’s reports. In terms of both temperature 
and precipitation, August and November were 
utterly average. In between, September and 
October were slightly warmer than normal, 
and the rainfall in those months was above av- 
erage as well. The only significant storm of the 
season came during the last week of October 
and resulted in only modest displacement of 
birds and no epic fallouts. Ocean productivity 
was apparently good as a result of the transi- 
tion from El Nino to La Nina conditions, thus 
you will find no discussions of toxic blooms, 
dead zones, or major die-offs of seabirds. Per- 


haps the most significant land-based influence 
on bird movements was the acorn crop failure 
of Oregon White Oaks (Quercus garryana). An 
ecologist who has been conducting Region- 
v/ide surveys on acorn production of this 
species since 1999 called it the “worst produc- 
tion year in the history of the survey” 
(<http://yeimbackyard.blogspot.com>). 

Given the conditions described above, one 
might expect that the season was a yawner. 
Quite the contrary! Both states enjoyed a 
laundry list of birds reported five times or less 
in the Region, with Washington making two 
overdue additions to its state list. Pelagics, 
many species of shorebirds, and particularly 
vagrant “eastern” passerines all showed ex- 
tremely well. The paragraphs below are teem- 
ing with spectacular counts and record dates. 
There were, of course, a few no-shows and 
other species whose numbers were so modest 
that they qualified as negative data. We find 
that there is much to be learned from explor- 
ing and writing about both. 

Abbrevations: ER.R. (Fern Ridge Res., Lane), 
Malheur (Malheur N.W.R. Hamey), N.S.C.B. 
(North Spit Coos Bay, Coos), O.S. (Ocean 
Shores, Grays Harbor), P.N.P. (Pt. No Point, 
Kitsap), ES.B. (Port Susan 
Bay, Snohomish), ET. (Puget 
Trough), Ridgefield (Ridge- 
field N.W.R. , Clark), 

S.L.W.M.A. (Summer Lake 
W.M.A., Lake), W.W.R.D. 

(Walla Walla R. delta, Walla 
Walla), W.V. (Willamette" 

Valley). “Eastside” and 
“westside” indicate loca- 
tions e. and w. of the Cas- 
cade crest, respectively. 

WMEiFOWL 
THROUGH RAPTORS 

The usual late Sep move- 
ment of southbound Greater 
White-fronted Geese was 
preceded by month-early 
flocks of 30 at Bend 20 Aug 
(D. Sutherland) and 100 
over Lebanon, Linn 26 Aug 
(B. Thackaberry). A Tule 
Greater White-fronted 
Goose (subspecies gambelli) 
was at Samish Flats, Skagit 4 
Oct (ph. RM, MB), and 2 
were on Fir I., Skagit 7 Oct 
(SM, S. Pink); there are fewer than 10 previous 
records (most Sep-Dec) from Washington, half 
of which were during the past five years, like- 
ly due to increased observer awareness. For the 
7th consecutive fall, Blue Geese joined the s. 


Skagit/n. Snohomish Snow Goose flock, with at 
least 3 noted 15 Oct-4 Nov (RM). A flock of 
5000 Snow Geese at Paterson Slough, Benton 
14 Nov (MH, M. Crawford) was one and a half 
times the previous e. Washington high count; 
55 at Hood River 4 Nov Q- Catcher) were 
along a section of the Columbia R. where 
Snows are rarely detected. The season’s lone 
westside Ross’s Goose visited Philomath, Ben- 
ton 26 Nov (R. Armstrong). Ten Ross’s in e. 
Washington 7 Oct-7 Nov was a return to the 
recent seasonal norm following no fall reports 
from that subregion in 2009. A Cackling 
Goose at O.S. 7 Aug had probably summered 
locally (RS); southbound migrants typically ar- 
rive in mid-Sep. By 30 Sep, 15,000 Cacklings 
enlivened Sauvie I. (AF). A Taverner’s Cack- 
ling Goose (B. h. tavemeri) at Lind Coulee, 
Grant 18 Sep (SM) was about three weeks ear- 
ly. Two Aleutian Cackling Goose (B. h. leuco- 
pareia) on Bainbridge I., Kitsap 6 Nov (ph. BW. 
GGe) provided a rare Washington record away 
from the outer coast. The 690 Dusky Canada 
Geese (B. c. occidentalis) tallied at Tokeland, 
Pacific (SM, BT, RS) in late Nov made an ex- 
cellent count for the outer coast; it was sus- 
pected that these birds might be wintering lo- 
cally. This taxon is rare in the ET, so 6 on 


Lummi Flats, Whatcom 26 Nov (SM, WR) was 
noteworthy. Eight Lesser Canada Geese (B. c. 
patyipes) at Lyons Ferry, Franklin 3 Sep were 
also about three weeks early (SM); the migra- 
tion timing of Canada Geese bears further 



Although Broad-winged Hawks appear annually in the Oregon and Washington re- 
gion, most are immature!. This adult, at Washtucna, Adams County, Washington 12 
Septemher 2010, is one of very few southbound adults recorded in the region. Pho- 
tograph by Steven G. Mlodinow. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


149 


OREGON & WASHINGTON 



With increased coverage by birders, Goose Lake State Recreation Area in Lake County, Oregon has produced several rarities in 
recent years. This Yellow-throated Vireo, found there on 5 September 2010, is Oregon's third and the most interesting discov- 
ery at this site to date. Photograph by Stephen C Rottenborn. 


study, but any migratory subspecies of Canada 
Goose in e. Washington in early Sep is of in- 
terest. Lessers are ratber sparse migrants in tbe 
P.T., so a count of 20 at Lummi Flats 26 Nov 
(SM, WR) bears mention. 

A major influx of American Wigeons was 
marked by 10,000 e. of Astoria 20 Sep (MP). 
While multiple reports of Eurasian Teal are 
expected from the Region during winter and 
early spring, reports in autumn are few; an 
early eastside bird at Cow L., Adams 
(M&MLD) and another at Sauvie I. 28 Nov 
(AH, CH, ES) are just the 5th and 6th pre-Dec 
birds since 2002. As noted in our fall 2002 
column, ad. male teal, particularly those from 
Asian populations, typically arrive on winter- 
ing grounds in eclipse plumages that make 
them undetectable. A Eurasian Teal x Green- 
winged Teal hybrid at Deer Lagoon, Island 23 
Oct (SM, CW)was one of the earliest ever de- 
tected in the Region; in fall, reports of such 
birds typically outnumber those of pure Com- 
mon Teal. A Canvasback at Portland 1 Aug 
(AF) was most unusual, as this species does 
not breed in w. Oregon and rarely appears 
there before Oct. A gathering of 450 Ring- 
necked Ducks at Vantage, Kittitas 18 Sep 
(SM) was exceptional at this early date. The 
male Tufted Duck in n. Portland 21 Nov+ 
(ACl) was presumed a returnee, as it was in 


the same area where one spent the two previ- 
ous winters. Formerly unthinkable, a raft of 
3000 Greater Scaup was at the Lewis R. 
mouth, Cowlitz 28 Nov (BF). Similarly 2000 
Lesser Scaup were at Portland 26 Nov (SE, 
DEi, Dl); these tallies further demonstrate the 
recent increases in the number of scaup win- 
tering along this stretch of Columbia River. 
Present since Jul 2009, Washingtons 20th 
King Eider remained at O.S. through the fall 
period (m.ob.). The season’s spectacular in- 
land flight of scoters, which normally do not 
appear until Oct, included a remarkably early 
female Surf Scoter at Redmond, Deschutes 21 
Aug (K. Owen). Eighty-more Surfs 19 Sep-25 
Nov was roughly triple the normal eastside 
showing; 18 at the Tucannon R. mouth, Co- 
lumbia 18 Oct (M&MLD) highlighted multi- 
ple double-digit counts. Western Oregon tal- 
lied 47 Surfs away from saltwater, including 
19 at favored Hagg L., Washington 25 Oct 
(GGi). Near evenly split between the states, 
21 White-winged Scoters found e. of the Cas- 
cades 9 Oct-28 Nov was twice the seasonal 
norm. A mixed flock of 9 Surf and 8 White- 
winged discovered at Portland 17 Nov (D. 
Helzer), remained into Dec (m.ob.). A Black 
Scoter near Spokane 13-25 Nov (J. Isacoff, 
TL) was just the 9th for e. Washington. Live 
Long-tailed Ducks 30 Oct-r marked the 3rd 


consecutive fall with a sub-par eastside show- 
ing; the long-term average is about 7-8 per 
autumn. Three Long-taileds visited inland 
sites in w. Oregon, where less than annual; 2 
were at Hagg L. 23 Oct (S. Schlick), and an- 
other was along the Columbia R. n. of Port- 
land 21-28 Nov (ACl.JJ). 

The peak pulses of 4000 and 5000 Red- 
throated Loons passed Boiler Bay 7 & 16 Nov, 
respectively (PP). A fall Washington record 
18,000 Pacihe Loons passed Cape Disap- 
pointment, Pacific 29 Oct (BW, D. Waggoner, 
R. Waggoner); the high count from Boiler Bay 
which yields the Region’s highest tallies most 
years, was 23,000 on 7 Nov (PP). The usual 
build-up of Common Loons on Wickiup Res., 
Deschutes peaked at 140 birds 31 Oct (SD). 
About par for w. Washington, Yellow-billed 
Loon reports included likely returning birds 
at Lort Llagler, Jejfferson 11 Oct+ 0 - Baier) and 
at Pt. Wilson, Jefferson 23 Oct-i- (BWh); the 
lone Oregon bird was at Tillamook 20 Nov 
(JJ). Truly astounding was the 64 Horned 
Grebes at Hood River 1 Nov (SJ); although 
scattered individuals winter all along this sec- 
tion of the Columbia R., single-site concen- 
trations like this are rare. Two juv. Red- 
necked Grebes at Ladd Marsh W.M.A. 24 Aug 
(C. Nowak) and another at Beaverton, Wash- 
ington (ph. S. Carpenter) were surprising in 
that they were still sporting striped heads; this 
species does not breed at either site. A paltry 
2 Clark’s Grebes were detected in w. Wash- 
ington during fall. 

The rapid transition from El Nino to La 
Nina conditions resulted in average to above- 
average upwelling indices and cooler-than-av- 
erage sea surface temperatures in the Region’s 
nearshore waters. The presumed good ocean 
productivity suggested by these indicators 
combined with exceptional coverage pro- 
duced interesting finds and high concentra- 
tions of expected tubenoses. A single Laysan 
Albatross off Westport 28 Aug (BL, RS) and 2 
off Lincoln 27 Sep QO were earlier than nor- 
mal; this species is most often detected in the 
Region’s waters Nov-Apr. Numbers of Black- 
footed Albatrosses were unimpressive. An 
imm. Short-tailed Albatross photographed 
off Clallam 12 Sep (ph. M. Dragiewicz, fide 
eBird) represents just the 8th modern record 
for Washington. Mid-Sep yielded multiple 
noteworthy counts of Pink-footed Shearwa- 
ters. Trips out of Westport encountered 1700 
on 10 Sep and 2100 on 11 Sep (fide BT), while 
2300 were tallied off Newport 11 Sep (GG); 
11 other pelagics averaged a more-expected 
220/trip. Twelve Llesh-footed Shearwaters for 
the season was low given the level of coverage 
but higher than the measly 7 reported during 
fall 2009; in some years, single trips have pro- 


150 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


OREGON & WASHINGTON 


duced double-digit counts. Buller’s Shearwa- 
ter numbers were similarly modest, averaging 
about 25/trip; 225 off Newport Sep 11 (GG) 
was the only tally of note. As is often the case, 
this season’s highest count of Sooty Shearwa- 
ters v/as made from shore; 400,000 were esti- 
mated off Midway Beach, Pacific (RM, RS). 
Expectedly, Short-tailed Shearwaters were 
found in very low numbers until a Oct 5 
pelagic out of LaPush logged 1440 (RM, 
CW), the Region’s 2nd highest count. A 
Short-tailed Shearwater at Edmonds, Sno- 
homish 12 Nov (DD) was in the P.T., where 
not annual. Five Manx Shearwaters seen from 
shore during Sep was slightly below recent 
fall averages; one at Boiler Bay 7 Nov (W. 
Hoffman) was about six weeks late. 

A swarm of 1000+ Fork-tailed Storm-Pe- 
trels seen from a cruise ship off Coos 21 Sep 
OG, OS) was more than double the number 
seen during any of the conventional pelagic 
trips. A strong late Oct storm produced an in- 
shore flight of 1400 Leach’s Storm-Petrels at 
Boiler Bay 26 Oct (PP) and resulted in sever- 
al Leach’s beings seen flying along the beach 
at Westport, Grays Harbor the same day (K. 
Brady). One found dead 35 km inland at Jew- 
ell, Clatsop 27 Oct (fide HN) was surely a 
storm-driven waif. A dark-rumped storm-pe- 
trel 29 km w. of Charleston, Coos 28 Aug (SF, 
RN, T. Snetsinger) defied identification, de- 
spite being seen reasonably well by multiple 
experienced observers. The bird was not large 
enough for Black Storm-Petrel, nor did the 
flight style suggest Black, and the bird lacked 
the conspicuous pale carpal bar shown by 
Tristram’s and Markham’s. Aside from the lack 
of white on the rump, the description of the 
bird’s size, shape, and flight style was most 
suggestive of Leach’s (tSF); dark-rumped 
Leach’s are not known to occur in Oregon and 
Washington waters. Single Black Storm-Pe- 
trels were reported from cruise ships off Lin- 
coln 21 (p.a., tJG, tOS, tW. Gross, tj. Carl- 
son, B. Carlson) & 27 Sep (p.a., tJ. Mered- 
ith); Oregon has just one accepted record of 
this species. 

With the establishment of the Region’s first 
westside breeding colony in the lower Co- 
lumbia R. e. of Astoria, transient American 
White Pelicans w. of the Cascades are no 
longer a surprise; however, 306 at Smith L. 
and Bybee L. is nearly double any prior count 
for the Portland area. Three singles reached 
the outer coast, where they are still consid- 
ered a novelty; a late summer bird at Long 
Beach, Pacific 6 Aug (S. Staples) was a mere 
35 km from the newly established breeding 
colony at Miller Sands, Clatsop, while the 
source of later birds at Seaside 10 Nov (MP) 
and Port Orford, Curry 23 Nov (KA) is less 


apparent. A Brown Pelican off of Bainbridge 
I., Kitsap 6 Nov (BW, GGe, J Acker) and 2 at 
Edmonds 9 Nov (DD) were the only reports 
for the P.T., which has averaged almost 10 per 
fall, mostly before Nov. Coastally, Brown Peli- 
cans have been lingering later and in greater 
numbers in recent years. A tally of 450 at 
Westport 20 Nov (SM, BT, RS) represents 
Washington’s 2nd highest Nov count. The 
count of 182 Great Egrets at Ridgefield 17 Oct 
(SM, BF) was w. Washington’s 2nd highest 
ever and perhaps explains the sub-par peak' — • 
122 on 10 Sep (AF) — at nearby Smith L. and 
Bybee L., where up to 300 have routinely 
gathered in recent falls. On the eastside, ex- 
tralimital Great Egrets strayed n. and e. to 
Cassimer Bar, Okanogan 18 Oct (AS, ES) and 
Peone Wetlands, Spokane 28 Sep-7 Oct (TL); 
this species breeds at only a few more 
southerly sites in e. Washington. A Cattle 
Egret at Grants Pass, Josephine 14 Nov (DV) 
provided the lone report of the season; this 
species, which for nearly three decades was 
an expected fall visitor, has returned to being 
quite rare in the Region at any season. A sin- 
gle White-faced Ibis at Lowden, Walla Walla 
24 Sep (M&MLD) was Washington’s first fall- 
season Plegadis ibis since 2004. 

A near-normal 4 Red-shouldered Hawks 
were noted in sw. Washington this fall, in- 
cluding 2 juvs. in close association at Ridge- 
field 21 Aug (SM, BF), suggesting local nest- 
ing. Breeding is still unconfirmed in Wash- 
ington. Multiple Red-shouldereds reported 
from Deschutes during Aug included an ad. 
with 2 juvs. at Tumalo Res. 1 Aug (L. Rems). 
This species, which is extremely secretive 
during the nesting season, was very rare e. of 
the Cascades until about a decade ago, but 
late-summer and early fall reports are now an- 
nual, probably indicative of local breeding. 
Three Sep reports of Broad-winged Hawks 
away from the Chelan Ridge, Chelan and Bon- 
ney Butte, Hood River hawkwatches was 
slightly below recent averages. One at Wash- 
tucna, Adams 12 Sep (M. Willison, tSM, BL) 
made about the 20th Washington record; 
these do not include all Chelan Ridge hawk- 
watch reports, some of which have not yet 
been submitted to the Washington Bird 
Records Committee. For the first time since 
2002, there were no Swainson’s Hawks re- 
ported w. of the Cascades. Conversely, 3 west- 
side Ferruginous Hawks 29 Aug-6 Nov repre- 
sented the best fall showing in the Region 
since 2001. An imm. at Lummi Flats, What- 
com 26 Sep furnished just the 2nd fall record 
w. Washington (tSM, R. Fuller); all but two of 
eight previous w. Washington records have 
come during Apr. This season’s Prairie Merlin 
(E c. richardsoni), likely a returning bird, was 


at Edison, Skagit 8 Nov+ (ph. MB); with in- 
creased observer scrutiny, this subspecies is 
now detected annually in the Region. A Gyr- 
falcon at Samish Flats, Skagit 4-10 Nov (GGe) 
was the lone report of the season; 5 Gyrs per 
fall is the Regional norm. About par for w. 
Washington lowlands, 3 Prairie Falcons were 
detected this fall 30 Sep-26 Nov. A high-ele- 
vation migrant over Timberline Lodge on Mt. 
Hood 8 Sep (R. Carlson) was the earliest of 
several fall birds in w. Oregon, where this 
species winters in small numbers. Six Yellow 
Rails were still vocalizing at the recently dis- 
covered breeding outpost at S.L.W.M.A. 6 Aug 
(D. Stein). Two Sandhill Cranes on Sauvie I. 4 
Aug (PS) had likely summered locally, as they 
were at least seven weeks ahead of typical ar- 
rival dates. 

SHOREBIRDS THROUGH 
WOODPECKERS 

Thirteen American Golden-Plovers e. of the 
Cascades 16 Sep-4 Oct marked the 2nd con- 
secutive spectacular eastside showing for this 
species; the golden-plover flight otherwise 
was dismal Region-wide: a single American at 
Malheur 16 Sep (AC, TR) and 2 at Bend 19 
Sep (SD) were in e. Oregon, where neither 
species is annual, while 8 at Cow L., Adams 
24 Sep (TL) highlighted the e. Washington re- 
ports. Fourteen westside Americans, half the 
seasonal norm, were evenly divided between 
the two states; a juv. American at O.S. 10 Aug 
(ph. G. Thompson) was the likely the earliest 
juv. ever for Washington. Reports of Pacifies 
were disturbingly low, with a mere 23 (all 
westside) 9 Aug-15 Oct; the Region has aver- 
aged nearly 60 per fall since 2000, with at 
least 50 birds tallied in every year but 2006 
(38). Two Lesser Sand-Plovers visited the Re- 
gion. An ad. at O.S. 26-27 Aug (B. Sundstrom, 
tTA, ph. RM), was a long overdue first for 
Washington, while a juv. at Bandon 19-21 Sep 
(tRN) was Oregon’s 5th; British Columbia 
has just four records of the species. During a 
major storm 26 Oct, a Oregon record 52 Black 
Oystercatchers were seen huddled together at 
Cape Arago, Coos (RN). A Black-necked Stilt 
at Gold Beach, Curry 18 Sep (D. Cavaness) 
provided just the 2nd fall record from the 
Oregon coast. 

The 130 Lesser Yellowlegs at Sauvie 1. 21 
Aug (AH, CH, ES) set a w. Oregon record and 
the 2nd highest westside tally ever; 155 were 
at LaConner, Skagit 16 Aug 2008. A record 
148 Solitary Sandpipers enlivened the Region 
5 Aug-17 Sep. More than half came from e. 
Washington, which accounted for 83 of 92 
eastside birds. Fifty-six westside Solitaries in- 
cluded a w. Washington record 7 at Rexville, 
Skagit 15 Aug (SM, T. Clark) and a most in- 


i' OLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


151 


OREGON & WASHINGTON 


triguing report of 30 seen during a boat sur- 
vey along 6 km of an inaccessible wooded 
slough in n. Portland 18 Aug (D. Helzer); we 
included only half of these birds (a potential 
Regional record) in our tally, as the observer 
was concerned that birds flying back and 
forth may have inflated the count. Two Wil- 
lets at Kettle Falls, Stevens 20-22 Aug (ph. 
MB, TL, T. Durnell) were the first fall birds in 
e. Washington since 1990! Another Willet at 
Ridgefield 9 Oct (BF) was rare for inland w. 
Washington; this species is not annual away 
from salt water on the westside. For the 2nd 
consecutive fall, a Wandering Tattler strayed 
e. of the Cascades; this season’s bird, at Warm 

L. , Yakima 14 Aug (tS. Isley et al.), adds to 
nine previous eastside records. Three Whim- 
brels at ER.R. 4 Sep (JS) and 2 Long-billed 
Curlews near Brownsville, Linn the same day 
(R. Adney) were the only WV reports for ei- 
ther species, both of which are annual there. 

Hudsonian Godwits, which have appeared 
in the Region every fall since 2000, were de- 
tected in both states; one was at Coos Bay 24 
Aug (E. Rees), the other at O.S. 9-11 Sep (ph. 
RS, CR). Bar-tailed Godwits were again de- 
tected among coastal Marbled Godwit flocks, 
with one at Tokeland, Pacific 3 Sep-15 Oct (R. 
Moyer) and another at Westport, Grays Har- 
bor 25 Sep (DD). This species is substantially 
rarer away from the outer coast; thus one at 
Tulalip Bay, Snohomish 17-19 Aug and possi- 
bly a different bird there 11-14 Sep (both ph. 

M. Reid) were noteworthy. Four Marbled 
Godwits on the eastside 3 Aug-18 Sep was 
slightly above average. Six Red Knots at Toke- 
land 20 Nov (SM, BT, RS) were about a month 
late. Washington has about 10 prior records 
from Nov, eight from Dec, and two from Jan. 
Seventy-seven eastside Sanderlings 6 Aug-3 
Oct (74 in Washington) was again well above 
the long-term fall norm. Since 2007, the east- 
side has averaged 84/fall, more than double 
the historical average. This season’s 242 Semi- 
palmated Sandpipers 1 Aug-25 Sep is only 
eclipsed by the spectacular flight of 2005, 
when nearly 300 were tallied. All but 7 of 1 14 
eastside birds were in Washington, with 19 at 
Othello 7 Aug (SM, TC) furnishing the high 
count. As expected, ES.B. was the epicenter of 
westside reports, with 34 there 1 Aug (SM); 
37 Semipalmateds in w. Oregon was treble the 
statewide norm. For the 2nd straight fall, 
Baird’s Sandpipers staged an impressive flight 
through the Region. While eastside numbers 
were better than normal, the westside incur- 
sion was spectacular. The 108 Baird’s sur- 
veyed along Clatsop Beach 18 Aug (OS) is 
only surpassed by an anecdotal account of 
120 at Nehalem Bay, Tillamook in the mid- 
1970s (Birds of Oregon 2003); there were five 


other w. Oregon counts involving 20-38 indi- 
viduals 17-20 Aug this season. A tally of 34 
Baird’s at Midway Beach, Pacific 21 Aug 
(GGe) represents the 3rd highest all-time sin- 
gle-site count from w. Washington. 

It was also a banner fall for Pectoral Sand- 
pipers. Sixty-seven at Rexville 10 Sep (RM, 
CW) and 58 near Warm Beach, Snohomish 10 
Sep (RM, CW) were the daily maxima in w. 
Washington, while the w. Oregon high was 
40 at Floras L., Curry 21 Sep (TR). More than 
500 Pectorals were reported from the eastside 
4 Aug-9 Oct; peak tallies included 75-100 at 
Lind Coulee, Grant 11-18 Sep (M&MLD, 
SM) and 100 at Malheur 17 Sep (AC). Twelve 
Sharp-tailed Sandpipers spanning 31 Aug-18 
Oct included 9 in w. Washington (8 in Skag- 
it) and a single eastside bird at Slavin Ranch, 
Pend Oreille 24 Sep (TL). The earliest, a juv. 
at Bandon 31 Aug (KC), may well represent 
the earliest fall juv. ever recorded in the Low- 
er 48 states. Unlike numbers of other shore- 
birds that migrate through the mid-conti- 
nent, numbers of Stilt Sandpipers were again 
frighteningly low, matching the decade-worst 
27 reported last autumn; the steady decline 
of fall reports in this Region (see fall 2009 
S.A. feature) certainly warrants concern. 
Buff-breasted Sandpipers also bottomed out, 
with just 5 reported; this is the worst show- 
ing in more than a decade and is less than 
20% of last season’s tally. After just one report 
last fall, 9 Ruffs detected 15 Aug-14 Oct rep- 
resented a return to the seasonal norm. At 
Abert L., Lake the annual staging swarm of 
Wilson’s Phalaropes peaked at about 400,000 
birds 4 Aug (RR); this number is actually low 
by recent standards and may be attributable 
to the receding pool of this playa lake. A Wil- 
son’s Phalarope lingering at Skagit W.M.A. 19 
Sep was nearly three weeks late (CR). A 
Washington record 8500 Red-necked 
Phalaropes congregated at P.N.P. 27 Aug 
(BW); 2 at Westport, Grays Harbor 27 Oct 
(MB) were nearly three weeks late for w. 
Washington, where there are only a handful 
of Nov records. Two Red Phalaropes graced 
Soap L., Grant 23 Aug (ph. MB); another vis- 
ited Conconully L., Okanogan 31 Oct (AS, 
ES). Interestingly, Reds have been reported 
from Soap L. multiple times in recent years, 
causing one to v/onder how many might be 
found if birders more diligently sorted 
through the many hundreds of Red-necked 
Phalaropes that descend on this site each fall. 
Reds are nearly as rare in the RT., particular 
before the late fall storm season; thus one at 
Channel Drive, Skagit 6 Sep was noteworthy 
(ph. MB). The late Oct storm blew thousands 
of Red Phalaropes inshore and likely explains 
2 inland at Philomath 25 Oct (WDR) and 2 at 


Bainbridge L, Kitsap 3 Nov (BW); after a peak 
count of 8000 at Boiler Bay on 24 Oct, daily 
numbers declined quickly, with only 700 
there by 26 Oct (PP). 

Franklin’s Gulls made an above-average 
showing away from breeding sites se. Oregon, 
with 18 noted 6 Aug-26 Nov, including 10 on 
the westside. An apparently unique (for the 
eastside) fall assemblage of Bonaparte’s Gulls 
at Klamath Falls, which in some years has 
topped 4000 birds, peaked at 2056 on 11 Nov; 
these gulls gather in the Klamath Basin to feed 
along irrigation canals (KS). A juv. Mew Gull 
at W.W.R.D. 4 Sep (SM) was about three 
weeks early. This continues a string of early 
Mew Gulls— nearly all juvs. — in e. Washing- 
ton over the past few years, which is of inter- 
est, as juvs. do not normally appear in w. 
Washington until late Sep. Most unexpected 
was a Mew Gull at Malheur 4 Oct (D. Evered); 
this is an apparent first for heavily birded Har- 
ney. A Lesser Black-backed Gull at Grayland, 
Pacific 19-21 Aug (ph. M&MLD), though just 
the 2nd for w. Washington, was the 16th for 
that state; this species is now annual in e. 
Washington, with most records occurring 
Oct-Apr. Western Gulls are barely annual and 
highly local in the Columbia Basin, so 4 there 
18 Sep-30 Oct was an exceptional total; one at 
Potholes Res., Grant 11 Sep (ph. G. Oliver, 0. 
Oliver) was far removed from the Columbia R. 
sites where they are expected. All but one of 5 
westside Glaucous Gulls were in Washington, 
including a summering bird at Westport, 
Grays Harbor that remained through the peri- 
od (m.ob.). Twenty-six inland Sabine’s Gulls 
13 Sep-13 Oct was about 150% of normal; 9 
of e. Washington’s 16 inhabited Potholes Res. 
11 Sep (M&MLD). 

Though still about 25% below normal, 113 
eastside Common Terns 8-18 Sep was a sharp 
increase from last fall’s abysmal showing, with 
a maximum of 50 at Potholes Res. 17 Sep 
(SM, DS). West of the Cascades, all 27 inland 
reports came from Oregon; 19 at favored 
ER.R. 3 Sep (DI) highlighted these reports. A 
single Arctic Tem joined the Commons at 
ER.R. 27 Sep (tj. Dunn); this species is virtu- 
ally unknovra from the Willamette Valley. A 
Forster’s Tern at Newport 3 Sep (RN) was the 
only report from the westside, which averages 
3 per fall. A juv. Black Tern at ER.R. came a 
full month after local breeders and their 
young had dispersed (DI). Seventy-four 
South Polar Skuas was above average but per- 
haps expected given the level of pelagic cov- 
erage; 12 off Newport 11 Sep (GG) highlight- 
ed this total. Despite sub-par offshore num- 
bers of all three jaegers, Pomarine Jaegers 
showed well in the RT., where not annual; 7 
were detected 9 Sep-10 Oct. Eight inland Par- 


152 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


OREGON & WASHINGTON 


aside Jaegers 5 Sep-21 Sep was above normal; 
5 were in e. Washington, including one that 
passed over the migrant trap at Washtuena, 
Adams, far from any significant body of water. 
A dark-morph Parasitic at Portland 20 Nov 
(tSF, tDI) furnished a near-record late inland 
record; there are just two antecedent Nov 
records away from salt water and the EX, the 
latest involving an imm. at Harrisburg, Linn 
23 Nov 2009. Incredibly, 9 Long-tailed 
Jaegers were found inland during the season, 
one of which accompanied the Parasitic at 
Washtuena. Six additional eastside birds in- 
cluded one at Hood River 18 Aug (SJ) and a 
flock of 5 that passed astounded hawkwatch- 
ers on Green Ridge, Jefferson 25 Sep (E Low et 
al). In the P.T., where Long-taileds are not an- 
nual, a freshly dead juv. was discovered at 
Mercer L, King 21 Sep (]. Roan), and another 
juv. at EN.E 2-27 Oct was record late for w. 
Washington (ph. SM, BW); a Long-tailed in e. 
Washington Dec 1982 is that state’s only post- 
Oct record (Birds of Washington, 2005). 

A Cassin’s Auklet, rare in the ET., was off of 
Bainbridge 1., Kitsap 16 Nov (BW); most P.T. 
records are from Jul-Dec. Five Xantus’s Mur- 
relets in Oregon waters were all seen during 
Sep from cruise ships over deep water 70 km 
or farther offshore; 4 widely scattered birds 
(subspecies undetermined) were noted 21 
Sep QG. OS), and a scrippsi was 80 km off 
Lincoln 27 Sep (tlj). Spectacular numbers of 
Ancient Murrelets dotted the nearshore wa- 
ters off Boiler Bay late Oct+, with counts of 
100+ from several days; 266 on 18 Nov (PP) 
appears to be an Oregon record. A Homed 
Puffin, extremely rare in the ET., floated off of 
Libbey Beach, Island 1 Oct (tA. Sedgely), and 
perhaps the same bird was observed 29 km to 
the n. near Green Pt., Skagit 9 Oct (tGB); 
there are about 10 records from the P.T., most 
occurring late May-early Sep. 

Oregon’s 3rd Common Ground-Dove was 
seen sporadically at Sauvie 1., Multnomah 31 
Oct-28 Nov (tDM, tSF, tDI, CH). A Barred 
Owl at Ephrata, Grant 3 Nov (R. Friesz) was 
in the shrub-steppe far from appropriate habi- 
tat for this forest dweller. A Northern Hawk 
Owl at Hart’s Pass, Okanogan 28 Sep (ASt, ES, 
P. Moorehead) was, perhaps, expected, as it 
was not far from where the Region’s only con- 
firmed nesting occurred in 2007. Two Com- 
mon Poorwills reached the westside low- 
lands, where not annual; one was flushed on 
Portland’s Mt. Tabor 22 Sep (AH, CH, ES), 
and another, recently deceased, was discov- 
ered at Marymoor Park, King 23 Sep (MH, B. 
Bell). Though some Black Swifts surely mi- 
grate over the arid expanses e. of the Cas- 
cades, they are rarely detected there, particu- 
lar during fall; one at Paisley, Lake 4 Aug (RR) 


and 2 over Washtuena 9 Sep (TA, RM, BW, 
CW) were thus notable. A Black-chinned 
Hummingbird at Mt. Pleasant, Skamania 26 
Aug provided an extremely rare fall westside 
record (WC). Two mid-Oct reports of Black- 
chinneds in Deschutes were intriguing, as one 
must consider the possibility of such late 
Archilochus being Ruby-throateds; both 
records of Ruby-throated in the Region have 
come in Sep. If correctly identified, these 
would be the Region’s latest Black-chinneds 
ever by two weeks and the latest from the 
eastside by nearly a month. As with last fall, 
10 Anna’s Hummingbirds were reported n. 
and e. of their known range in e. Washington, 
which is essentially limited to Klickitat. One 
visited a Colbert, Spokane feeder 11 Sep (J. 
Dammarell), while another persisted at Yaki- 
ma until 22 Nov (S. Downes). Both of the sea- 
son’s Costa’s Hummingbirds were in Oregon, 
with a male at South Beach, Lincoln 7 Aug 
(WH) and a female at Bend 5 Sep (D. Hale). A 
Calliope Hummingbird, not annual on the 
westside in fall, visited Mt. Pleasant, 10 Aug 
(WC), and one there 3 Sep (WC) was nearly 
record late. Increasingly the norm, at least 2 
Selasphorus tarried through mid-Oct e. of the 
Cascades, and 4 more were noted from the 
W.Y 16-23 Nov. A Selasphorus (reported as 
Rufous) at Richland, Benton 19 Oct (L. Hill) 
was the 3rd latest for e. Washington, while 
singles (possibly the same bird) were at Bend 
16 & 24 Oct (CM, MM). 

The 35 Lewis’s Woodpeckers detected in w. 
Washington 2 Sep-2 Nov were surely dispers- 
ing in response to the acorn crop failure. This 
tally was more than double any recent total; 
prior to 2008, when 15 Lewis’s were noted, w. 
Washington was averaging about 2 per fall. 
The Oregon showing was comparatively pal- 
try (about 10), but included 3 birds in Nov, 
the latest remaining through the period at 
Dayton, Yamhill (D. Albright). Two Lewis’s 
wandered to the outer coast, where exceed- 
ingly rare, with one at La Push, Clallam 16 
Sep (TL) and another at Toledo, Lincoln 25 
Sep (C. Philo, m.ob.). Acorn Woodpeckers 
wandered again this fall, particularly in w. 
Washington; an astounding 6 there 23 Sep-7 
Nov included 2 in Pacific, plus singles in 
Clark, Skamania, King, and Snohomish. There 
were about 10 previous w. Washington 
records, four of which came May-Jul 2010. 
Until recently, Acorns were very rare any- 
where e. of the Cascades except for a small 
colony in Klickitat. This season, 2 reached De- 
schutes during Oct, and another inhabited 
Fort Simcoe, Yakima 26 Sep-19 Oct (K. Tur- 
ley). The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker that win- 
tered at E.E.W. in 2009-10 was back there 10 
Nov+ (J. Geier et al). Single Red-breasted 


Sapsuckers at 'Vantage, Kittitas 18 Sep (SM) 
and Powell Butte, Crook 27 Sep (CG) were 
significant in that they are barely annual on 
the eastside away from Cascades. Nearly as 
rare w. of the Cascades at any season, a Red- 
naped Sapsucker inhabited Sudden Valley, 
Whatcom 2 Oct (PW). 

PASSERINES 

A well-described wood-pewee, reported as 
Western, at Ahtanum Mission, Yakima 19 Nov 
(TR. Repp) was completely out of season, ful- 
ly four weeks later than any southbound Con- 
topus flycatcher has ever lingered in the Re- 
gion (the Region’s only Greater Pewee ap- 
peared in Nov 2008). Four eastside Least Fly- 
catchers 3-19 Sep was slightly below recent 
averages. Notably, one of 2 at Washtuena 3 
Sep was an ad. (tSM); this age class is rarely 
seen during fall migration in Washington. A 
Dusky Flycatcher, only the 3rd for w. Wash- 
ington in fall, visited Samish I., Skagit 10 Sep 
(RM, CW). Black Phoebes have been extend- 
ing their range northward into Washington, 
vAth most of the previous 15 records occur- 
ring in sw. Washington. The gates opened this 
fall, with 4 detected in w. Washington 20 
Aug+, including a northerly bird at Skagit 
W.M.A., Skagit 20 Aug-11 Nov (B. Hamblin) 
and Cowlitz’s first at Woodland 17 Oct-14 
Nov (tDI, tSF). Washington’s 8th Eastern 
Phoebe graced Washtuena 4 Sep (tBF). Eight 
westside Say’s Phoebes were all in Oregon 18 
Sep-31 Oct.; w. Oregon averages about 5-6 
per autumn, and this species is not annual 
during fall in w. Washington. This season’s 
westside Ash-throated Flycatcher, a barely an- 
nual visitor there, was on the N.S.C.B. 16 Aug 
(L. Miller). Twelve Couch’s/Tropical King- 
birds 3 Oct-16 Nov, sub-par by recent stan- 
dards, were highlighted by up to 4 at favored 
Cape Blanco 1-19 Oct (LM, TJW). A Tropical 
Kingbird (heard calling) inland at Bellingham 
3-16 Nov OM et al.) was decidedly rarer, as 
nearly all of the Region’s reports come from 
the outer coast. 

Surprisingly, a Loggerhead Shrike spent 
the period (3 Aug+) at the Siltcoos R. mouth. 
Lane (DF, m.ob.); though the westside aver- 
ages one or 2 per fall, they rarely remain for 
more than a day or two. Oregon’s 3rd Yellow- 
throated "Vireo brightened Goose Lake S.R.A. 
5 Sep (ph. S. C. Rottenborn); both previous 
records came Jun-Jul. A record-late Warbling 
"Vireo at Fields 25 Oct (M) was three weeks 
after the normal late dates; previously, one at 
O.S. 19 Oct 1997 was the Region’s latest. A 
Gray Jay wandered downslope to Rice, 
Stevens along the Columbia R. 18 Nov (S. 
Schubert); this species is rarely found away 
from montane environs on the eastside. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


153 


OREGON & WASHINGTON 


Twelve Blue Jays 17 Sep+ constituted a mod- 
est invasion; 11 eastside birds were near 
evenly split between the states, while the lone 
westside bird was Glendale, Douglas 1 Nov 
(T. Blankenship). Western Scrub-Jays, anoth- 
er species heavily reliant on acorns, irrupted 
away from their normal haunts in sw. Wash- 
ington and the s. P.T. Impressive numbers 
and movements included 100 at St. Cloud 
Recreation Area, Skamania 10 Sep (CJ. Flick, 
SJ), 6 coastal birds at Tokeland, Pacific 25 Sep 
(BL), and 8 at the n. tip of the Kitsap penin- 
sula, Foulweather Bluff, 26 Sep (BW, VN); 
additionally, 7 were noted 16 Oct-14 Nov in 
nw. counties of Snohomish, Skagit, and What- 
com. In e. Washington, where scrub-jays are 
incrementally expanding to the n. and e., 3 
were noted from areas where they remain un- 
expected; this species is common in Klickitat 
and becoming established in Yakima. A 
Clark’s Nutcracker at Seattle 28 Aug (M. 
Muller) was a rare stray to the w. Washington 
lowlands. Single Black-billed Magpies were 
near Fall City, King 31 Oct-13 Nov (S. 
Ramos, P. Fahey) and Bellingham 27 Nov 
(fide JM); this species, formerly accidental in 
w. Washington, has appeared seven times in 
the past year. 

An imm. Tree Swallow x Violet-green 
Swallow hybrid near ES.B. 1 Aug (ph. SM) 
represents the first documented occurrence of 
a seemingly expected cross (McCarthy 2006; 
Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World)', the 
difficulty in detecting this hybrid likely ex- 
plains the absence of earlier records. Three 
migrant Bank Swallows at Hoquiam, Grays 
Harbor 15 Aug (BT) were noteworthy, as there 
are very few records of fall migrants along 
Washington’s outer coast. Four lowland 
Mountain Chickadees 28 Sep-19 Oct made a 
typical tally for a non-irruption year. Two Oak 
Titmice in a yard at Tiller, Douglas 21 Sep QE) 
were in an area where previously unrecorded; 
this locale, at the northernmost extent of their 
range in the Region, is upslope from the low- 
land oak/Caenothus habitats where they are 
expected. A Rock Wren, rare w. of the Cas- 
cades, graced Foulweather Preserve, Kitsap 
20-21 Nov (R. Waggoner, ph. BW). Tardy 
House Wrens included singles at Vancouver 
L, Clark 17 Oct (SM, BF), Ridgefield 17 Oct 
(SM, BF), and Seattle 22 Oct (C. Sidles); this 
species has normally departed by late Sep. 
Washington’s 10th Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 
visited Davenport, Lincoln 2 Oct (ph. CC,JC, 
R. WoodrufO; most prior records have come 
in late fall. Though now annual May-Sep in 
more arid juniper zones in neighboring 
Crook, a presumed migrant gnatcatcher at Sis- 
ters, Deschutes 28 Oct Q- Gerke) was both late 
and in atypical habitat. 


For the 2nd consecutive fall, a Northern 
Wheatear graced the Region: an imm. at 
Bullard’s Beach S.P., Coos 24 Sep (TR et al.) 
was Oregon’ 5th. A Mountain Bluebird, very 
rare during fall w. of the Cascades, visited L. 
Sammamish, King 22 Nov (S. Cormier-Aa- 
gaard). A Swainson’s Thrush at Vancouver L. 
17 Oct (SM, BF) was about two weeks late. A 
persistently singing Gray Catbird at Clark S.E, 
Clark 21-22 Aug (SM, BF) may well have 
summered there; this species, normally very 
rare in w. Washington, was found in unprece- 
dented numbers this summer. Three addition- 
al eastside migrants were encountered away 
from known breeding areas 1 Sep-14 Oct; the 
latest, near Vantage, Kittitas 14 Oct (RM, BW), 
was nearly record late. Twelve Northern 
Mockingbirds 4 Aug+ was about double the 
seasonal norm; all but 2 were w. of the Cas- 
cades, including 9 in w. Oregon. One at Wash- 
tucna 4 Sep (BF) was in e. Washington, where 
not annual at any season. A Sage Thrasher, not 
quite annual in fall w. of the Cascades, was at 
Florence 15 Oct (AC, DF). Bohemian 
Waxwings staged a mini-irruption in w. Wash- 
ington, where rare, including 17 at Magnuson 
Park, King 26 Nov+ (m.ob.), 12 at Satsop R., 
Grays Harbor 29 Nov (K. Brady), and 2 at Mt. 
Baker, Whatcom 29 Nov (J. Bower). 

A male Blue-winged Warbler at Fields 15 
Sep (tJG, tOS) was Oregon’s 5th, 3 of these 
have occurred 9-20 Sep. The only Tennessee 
Warblers reported were singles at Sprague L., 
Adams 28 Aug (TL) and 9 Sep (tTA, tRM, 
tew, BW); these were presumed to be differ- 
ent birds. Formerly considered less than an- 
nual in fall in w. Washington lowlands, 4 
Nashville Warblers were detected 24 Sep-4 
Oct. A late Nashville stopped at Astoria 23 
Nov (L. Cain); this species is nearly annual 
during winter in w. Oregon. Two imm. North- 
ern Parulas at Pittock Mansion in Portland’s 
west hills 12-19 Sep (B. & S. Seymour, WG) 
were likely siblings; this species is not quite 
annual in fall. A lingering Yellow Warbler at 
Bainbridge I., Kitsap 6 Nov was over a month 
tardy (BW, GGe, J. Acker). Washington’s 22nd 
Chestnut-sided Warbler visited Little Goose 
Dam, Franklin 11 Sep (ph. R. Taylor, T. Tay- 
lor), and that state’s 21st Magnolia Warbler 
was at Fishhook Park, Walla Walla 25 Sep 
(TM&MLD). A Black-throated Blue Warbler 
at Mill Canyon, Lincoln 8 Oct (TL), Washing- 
ton’s 11th, fell within the expected fall win- 
dow for this species, while a female at Seaside, 
Clatsop 5 Nov (MP) was about a month later 
than most of the Region’s autumn records. 
Similarly, a Black-throated Gray Warbler at 
Sutherlin, Douglas 21 Nov (K. Phifer) was five 
weeks tardy. When one considers that the Re- 
gion had fewer than 20 prior records, 3 Black- 


burnian Warblers in a season is extraordi- 
nary; Washtuena hosted Washington’s 6th on 
4 Sep (tBF), and Oregon’s 15th and 16th vis- 
ited Fields 15 Sep (fide AC) and Malheur 16 
Sep (tAC, S. Wright et al). The lone P.T.AV.V. 
Palm Warbler was at Battle Ground, Clark 4 
Oct (JD); this inland corridor has averaged 
about 6 per fall over the past decade. Nearly 
half (15) of the 31 coastal Palms were in the 
Cape Blanco pasturelands 15-31 Oct (TR, 
TJW). In a year when “eastern” warblers 
abounded, two of the most expected vagrants 
were conspicuous by their absence. South- 
bound Blackpoll Warblers no-showed in the 
Region for the first time since 1998, and a 
Black-and-White Warbler at West Linn, 
Clackamas 30 Aug (R. Michimoto) was the 
only one reported; in recent years, both 
species have averaged about 4 per fall. For the 
2nd consecutive fall, an American Redstart 
was on the westside, where they are surpris- 
ingly rare in fall; an ad. female inhabited a Eu- 
gene yard 6 Nov+ (ph. B. Green). Just the 8th 
fall Ovenbird for Washington was banded at 
St. Cloud Recreation Area, Skamania 29 Aug 
(C. Flick, SJ), and another at Tumalo, De- 
schutes 8 Oct (D. Tracy) was the first south- 
bound bird in Oregon since 2006. An as- 
tounding 5 Northern Waterthrushes were de- 
tected 14 Aug-11 Sep in w. Washington, 
where this species is less than annual in fall. 
Common Yellowthroats are remarkably scarce 
migrants and local breeders on the Columbia 
Plateau, so 14 at Washtuena 19 Sep (SM, DS) 
and 15 more at Sentinel Bluffs the same day 
(BW) were noteworthy. Single Wilson’s War- 
blers at Nisqually 4 Nov (R. Richardson) and 
Grande Ronde, Yamhill 27 (L. Fink) were 
about five and eight weeks late, respectively; 
Wilson’s occasionally attempt to winter in the 
Region. Headlining this season’s exceptional 
roster of vagrants, a Canada Warbler at Mc- 
Nary N.W.R. 5-7 Sep (ph. M&MLD, ph. L. 
Umthum, m.ob.) furnished a long-overdue 
first for Washington. Although on the in- 
crease in w. Washington over the past few 
years, fall records of Yellow-breasted Chat are 
few, so 2 at Ridgefield 2 Sep were noteworthy 
(BF). A lingering Western Tanager at Mary- 
moor Park, King 4 Nov was about three weeks 
late (MH). 

Western Washington’s 8th Green-tailed 
Towhee enlivened Port Angeles, Clallam 18- 
19 Nov 0- Mullaly); westside records for this 
species are scattered throughout the year. On 
the westside, an American Tree Sparrow at 
Forest Grove, Washington 19 Oct (S. Halpern, 
GG) was slightly early; one at Millicoma, 
Coos 24 Nov and another at Lummi Flats, 
Whatcom 26 Nov fell within the expected ar- 
rival window (WR, SM). This species contin- 


154 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


OREGON & WASHINGTON 


ues to decline in w. Washington. It was a ban- 
ner fall for Clay-colored Sparrows on the 
westside this fall, with 1 1 detected 1 1 Sep-29 
Nov; the maximum, 3 at Newhalem, What- 
com 18 Sep (PW), accounted for half of the 
Washington birds, while all 5 reported in w. 
Oregon came after 1 Oct. Single Clay-col- 
oreds at Lyons Ferry, Franklin 3 Sep (SM) and 
Bend 29 Oct (H. Horvath) were the only east- 
side detections. It should be noted that 
Washington reports of Clay-coloreds typical- 
ly peak by mid-Sep, whereas most in Oregon 
come mid-Oct or later, perhaps suggesting 
that many of the Washington birds are short- 
distance dispersants from nearby breeding 
sites in e. British Columbia, while Oregon 
birds may be coming from more distant 
breeding areas. A Brewer’s Sparrow at Ridge- 
field 16 Aug (BF) made only the 2nd fall 
record in lowland w. Washington; surprising- 
ly, none were reported from the W.V., where 
they have been annual of late during Aug. 
Vesper Sparrows have not been found breed- 
ing on Sauvie I. in recent years, so one there 
21 Aug (AH, CH,) was intriguing; migrants 
did not appear elsewhere on the westside for 
another two weeks. In w. Washington, where 
Vespers are rare migrants, they irrupted: 17 
were tallied 2 Sep-25 Nov, including an 
amazing 6 at Newhalem 11-18 Sep (PW). 
One at the North Jetty of the Columbia R., 
Pacific 23-25 Nov (M. WoodrafO was the lat- 
est fall detection for Washington and only the 
2nd ever in Nov, although there are three pri- 
or winter records. An amazing group of 45+ 
Grasshopper Sparrows gathered at the road- 
side near Kahlotus, Franklin 7 Sep (K. 
Aanerud) was nearly double the previous 
high count for the Region; 25 were tallied 
during the breeding season at Newman L., 
Spokane 4 ]ul 1964, but there is no precedent 
for a migrant flock of this size. A Sooty-type 
Fox Sparrow at Portland 29 Aug (WG) was 
nearly two weeks ahead of the typical arrival 
for birds of this group of taxa. A suspected re- 
turning Red Fox Sparrow was back at Milli- 
coma for the 3rd consecutive year 29 Oct+ 
(TTR). Three Swamp Sparrows were noted e. 
of the Cascades, where few are detected most 
years; singles were at Antelope, Wasco 16 Oct 
(T. Love), McNary Dam, Umatilla 6 Nov 
(M&MLD), and the Colville Agency Head- 
quarters, Okanogan 26 Nov (AS, ES). On the 
westside, 5 Swamps 16 Oct-28 Nov repre- 
sented an average fall for w. Washington, and 
they were back at several traditional winter- 
ing sites in w. Oregon by the end of Oct. Har- 
ris’s Sparrows numbers were again dismal, 
with just 4 reported 5 Nov+; in three of the 
past four autumns, the seasonal tally for this 
species has been 50% or less than the histori- 


cal norm (8 per fall). Singles at Brookings, 
Curry 25 Nov (B. Stewart) and Tenino, 
Thurston 27 Nov+ (B. Sundstrom) were on the 
westside, where not annual in fall. A Golden- 
crowned Sparrow x White-crowned Sparrow 
hybrid also visited Tenino 28 Nov (B. Sund- 
strom); this cross is now being found annual- 
ly in the Region. Reports of single dark-lored 
White-crowned Sparrows (Z. 1. orianthaAeu- 
cophrys) from Washtucna 19 Sep and Sylvana, 
Snohomish 28 Nov (both SM) added to few 
prior records away from known oriantha 
breeding sites in extreme e. Washington and 
Oregon; there are fewer than five records of 
dark-lored White-crowneds from w. Washing- 
ton. The migratory status of dark-lored birds 
remains poorly understood Region-wide, and 
the nominate subspecies not been document- 
ed from Oregon or Washington. 

Normally gone from the Region by mid- 
Sep, a Black-headed Grosbeak at Silverton, 
Marion 9 Oct 0 - Thomas) was three weeks 
tardy. Three Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, all on 
the eastside, made a typical fall shovAng, but 
one at Yakima 10-18 Nov (fide DG) was ex- 
ceptionally late; southbound birds e. of the 
Cascades are typically detected Aug-Sep, and 
there is just one winter record for e. Wash- 
ington. A Blue Grosbeak at Malheur 15 Oct 
(ph. BWh) adds to nine previously accepted 
Oregon records. Indigo Bunting, formerly less 
than annual during fall in the Region, was de- 
tected for the 5th consecutive autumn when a 
female/imm. visited Malheur 16 Sep (AC, T. 
Bray). The female Painted Bunting that 
graced Seaside 2-21 Nov (p.a., D. Bailey, ph. 
MP et al.) would be just the 4th accepted for 
Oregon. As is often the case, Washington’s 7th 
Dickcissel was found associating with House 
Sparrows at Windust Park, Franklin 4 Sep 
(tSM); previously accepted records are from 
widely scattered locations and dates. Four 
widely scattered Rusty Blackbirds approxi- 
mated recent fall norms. Singles at Alvadore, 
Lane 24 Oct (tDI, tSF, ph. JS) and Tiller, Dou- 
glas (ph. JE) were in w. Oregon, where less 
than annual, while another at Ridgefield 8 
Nov (B. Sullivan) was the only one from w. 
Washington, which averages 3 per fall; the 
lone eastside bird was at W.W.R.D. 20 Nov 
(M&MLD). Locally nesting Yellow-headed 
Blackbirds typically leave the W.V. by mid- 
Sep, and they are barely annual along the out- 
er coast at any season, so 2 at Cape Blanco 19 
Oct (TJW), one at Newport 19 Oct (R. Lowe), 
and one at Alvadore, Lane 24 Oct (SF, DI) 
were all unexpected. Nearly all of the Region’s 
Great-tailed Crackles occur May-early Jul; 
thus one at Paisley 1 Aug (PS et al.) was un- 
usual. Even more out of season was a 25 Oct 
bird at Coos Bay (TR); these are just the 4th 


and 5th post-Jul reports from the Region over 
the past decade. The season’s only Hooded 
Oriole was at Bandon 14 Oct (KC, DL). Rare 
in the Columbia Basin, a Cassin’s Finch visit- 
ed Washtucna, Adams 3 Sep (SM). 

White-winged Crossbills are very unpre- 
dictable, but one at Washougal, Skamania 11 
Aug (WC) was especially noteworthy away 
from its montane haunts; even more surpris- 
ing was one that strayed to Charleston, Coos 
on the s. Oregon coast 25 Oct (J. Randolph). 
In a non-irruption year, a Common Redpoll 
in Portland 23 Nov (WG) was highly unex- 
pected. A Lesser Goldfinch at Enumclaw, King 
28 Oct-1 Nov (ph. S. Daniels) was well n. of 
the species’ rapidly growing sw. Washington’s 
population in Clark. Evening Grosbeaks were 
once considered exceptionally rare in the Co- 
lumbia Basin, but they have been found more 
often during the past few years. This year, sin- 
gles were at Washtucna 12 & 19 Sep (m.ob.). 

Initialed observers: Knute Andersson, Tom 
Aversa, Range Bayer (Lincoln), Gary Bletsch, 
Marv Breece, Wilson Cady, Kathy Castelein, 
Tracy Clark, Art Clausing, Alan Contreras, 
Craig Corder (Spokane), Judy Corder, Mike 
& MerryLyn Denny, Steve Dougill, Dennis 
Duffy, Julie Edmonds, Daniel Farrar, 
Shawneen Finnegan, David Fix, Bob Flores, 
Andy Frank, Chuck Gates (Crook), George 
Gerdts, Jeff Gilligan, Greg Gilison (the- 
birdguide pelagics, Washington), Denny 
Granstrand (Yakima). Wink Gross, Adrian 
Hinkle, Christopher Hinkle, Michael Hobbs, 
Wayne Hoffman, Jim Johnson, Stuart John- 
ston (Hood River, Klickitat) Bruce Labar, Dave 
Lauten, Terry Little, Maitreya, Joe Meche, 
Ryan Merrill (Washington), Tom Mickel 
(Lane), Craig Miller, Lois Miller, Marilyn 
Miller, Steven Mlodinow, Russ Namitz, Harry 
NeMs (Oregon), Vic Nelson, Mike Patterson 
(Clatsop), Phil Pickering, C. Ridell, Roger 
Robb, W. Douglas Robinson (Benton, Polk), 
Will Russell, Em Scattaregia, Owen Schmidt, 
Ryan Shaw, Kevin Spencer (Klamath), Andy 
Stepniewski, Ellen Stepniewski, John Sulli- 
van, Paul Sullivan, Ruth Sullivan, Dave 
Trochlell (Union, Wallowa), Dennis Vroman, 
Terry J. Wahl, Phil Wegener, Bob Whitney, 
Charlie Wright (eBird). (© 


David Irons, 2544 N.W. Marshall Street 
Portland, Oregon 97210, (llsdirons@msn.com) 

Douglas Schonewald, 1535 South Skyline Drive 
Moses Lake, Washington 98837, (dschone8@donobi.net) 
Brad Waggoner, 7865 Fletcher Bay Road N.E. 
Bainbridge Island, Washington 98110 
(wagtail@sounddsl.com) 

Bill Tweit, P.O.Box 1271 

Olympia, Washington 98507, (Sebnabgill@aol.com) 


VOLUME 65 (2011) « NUMBER 1 


155 


Northern California 


oVrgel^ 


Fort Braggt 



Big SurX 

■ 

Davidson Seamount 


Jeff N. Davis 
Ed Pandolfino 
Stephen C. Rottenborn 
Michael M. Rogers 


P ersistent coastal fog and strong north- 
westerly winds during the hrst half of 
the fall season resulted in a poor land- 
bird migration along the coast. Low numbers 
of rarities were reported from most of the Re- 
gion in general. The notable exception was in 
Humboldt County, which experienced one of 
the best vagrant seasons in decades. Regional 
highlights included our hrst Neotropic Cor- 
morant, fourth Brown Shrike (just the second 
for the mainland), our fourth Smith’s 
Longspur, and a generous irruption of 
Evening Grosbeaks thought to involve birds 
from northern breeding areas. 

Abbreviations: C.B.R.C. (California B.R.C.); 
C.R.R (Cosumnes River Preserve, Sacramen- 
to)' C.V (Central Valley); El. (Southeast Far- 
allon 1., San Francisco); H.R.S. (Hayward Re- 
gional Shoreline, Alameda), PRBO (PRBO 
Conservation Science); S.E (San Francisco, 
not State Forest). Reports of exceptional va- 
grants submitted without documentation are 
not published. Documentation of C.B.R.C. re- 
view species will be forwarded to Guy Mc- 
Caskie, Secretary, P. O. Box 275, Imperial 
Beacb, CA 91933. 

WATERFOWL THROUGH QUAIL 

A large movement of Greater White-fronted 
Geese spanning every coastal or near-coastal 
county from Humboldt to San Benito 28-30 
Sep included a notable 637 at H.R.S. 29 Sep 
(RJR) and 245, a record count for San Benito, 
at Paicines Res. the same day (DLSh). Snow 
Geese returned early to the Sacramento 
N.W.R., Glenn, with 14,000 counted 22 Oct 
and over 20,000 there just a few days later 


(Frank Hall et al). Brant inside S.E Bay in- 
cluded 2 ratty birds at Brooks I., Contra Costa 
2 Aug, with 3 there 11 Sep-16 Oct (Pat Bac- 
chetti, RCP), the hrst Sep record for Santa 
Clara, in Alviso 26 Sep (MMR, RGJ, ph. 
MJM), and perhaps the same individual in 
nearby Sunnyvale 31 Oct (Steve Tracey, RKe, 
PKe et al.). Elsewhere, one at Mono Lake C.P., 
Mono continued until 15 Sep (m.ob.), and Tu- 
lare’s hrst was at L. Success 20-23 Oct (ph. 
SDS et al.). A Cackling Goose along White 
Rock Rd. 20 Oct (DLSu) was one of few ever 
found in Mariposa. Three ad. Trumpeter 
Swans and 2 Bewick’s Swans were reported 
from near Nelson, Butte 24 Nov (tJHS). 

Wood Ducks in unexpected locations in- 
cluded one at Davis Cr., Modoc 5 Sep (SCR) 
and 2 at Crowley L., Mono 1 Oct (KNN). A 
Eurasian Teal was at the Yolo Bypass W.A., Yolo 
28 Nov (SCH). Redheads bred again at H.R.S,, 
with a duckling accompanying a female 23 
Aug (RJR). Three broods of Ring-necked 
Ducks along the w. side of Crowley L., Mono 1 
Aug (DS) were well s. of the species’ normal 
breeding range in the Region. Returning Tuft- 
ed Ducks were at Stone Lagoon, Humboldt 24 
Nov (female; Jeff Allen) and L. Merritt in Oak- 
land, Alameda 27 Oct+ (male; Hilary Powers, 
m.ob.). Harlequin Ducks inside S.E Bay in- 
cluded males at Brooks L, Contra Costa 11 
Sep-3 Nov (RCP, m.ob.) and Coyote Pt., San 
Mateo 2 Aug-20 Sep (LBt, RSTh et al.), the lat- 
ter present on and off since at least 6 Aug 


2002. Surf Scoters far inland included one at 
Eagle L., Lassen 5 Nov (LOr) and 5 at L. Shasti- 
na, Siskiyou 29 Oct-17 Nov; the latter group 
was accompanied by a female Black Scoter 29 
Oct (RE, Neal Clark), only the 3rd ever for that 
county. Five Long-tailed Ducks in hve counties 
16 Oct+ included one inland at Tule Lake 
N.W.R., Siskiyou 26 Oct (Dave Menke). A fe- 
male Hooded Merganser at Pt. Joe 7-8 Aug 
(Sarah Lane, DR) and at Laguna Grande 17 
Aug-10 Sep (Toni Kimple, DR et al.) provided 
only the 2nd “summer” record for Monterey. 
Red-breasted Mergansers were more numerous 
than usual far inland, with an “invasion” of 16 
in Siskiyou 30 Oct-11 Nov (BBg, RE, m.ob.), 3 
in Surprise Valley, Modoc 21 Nov (ph. SCR), 
and 2 at Topaz L., Mono 30 Oct (KNN); also 
notable were one at Folsom L., Placer (Ron 
Pozzi) and Yolo’s 6th at the Winters WT.P. 22 
Nov-i- (WEH, m.ob.). Late broods of downy 
young California Quail were found at Morgan 
Hill, Santa Clara 9 Sep (SCR) and at Paicines 
Res., San Benito 29 Sep (DLSh). 

LOONS THROUGH PELICANS 

Five Pacihe Loons at inland locations repre- 
sented an average showing. Red-throated 
Loon is rarer inland, so singles at L. Almanor, 
Plumas 8-15 Oct (Harv Wilson, Tony Brake, 
m.ob.) and Crowley L, Mono 26 Nov (tJLD, 
DVP) were noteworthy. Seasonal high counts 
included 27,750 Pacific Loons at Pt. Pinos, 
Monterey 21 Nov (BLS) and 1485 Red-throat- 



This hatch-year Laysan Albatross in Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz County, California 6 August 2010 had been banded 6 April by 
Julio Montoya on Mexico's Guadalupe Island. Photograph by Abe Borker. 


156 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


NORTHERN CALIFORNIA 


V r 

Although Hawaiian Petrels are known to forage regularly in the waters off Oregon and northern California during the nesting season, the only one seen in autumn 201 0 was this bird, 
photographed off Fort Bragg 15 August. Photographs by ToddMtGmth. 


ed Loons at Seacliff S.B., Santa Cruz 8 Nov 
(DLSu). The only Yellow-billed Loon was in 
Berkeley, Alameda 26 Nov+ (Ellen Sasaki, 
Sheila Dickie, Harold Newman, m.ob., ph. 
LTer). Inland Horned Grebes included singles 
at Grant L., Mono 15 Oct (Bob & Susan 
Steele) and L. McClure, Mariposa 21 Oct 
(DLSu) and up to 6 on L. Almanor, Plumas 26 
Sep-6 Nov (CPD). Just as scarce inland is 
Red-necked Grebe, represented this season by 
singles at Bass L., Madera 22 Sep (HBu), L. 
Shastina, Siskiyou 26-29 Oct (RE, m.ob.), and 
O’Neill Forebay, Merced 23 Nov (ADeM); up 
to 2 were at L. Almanor, Plumas 8 Oct-6 Nov 
(Harv Wilson, Tony Brake, m.ob.) and 3 at 
Fall River L., Shasta 12 Oct (KAb). 

The Pt. Arena Cove, Mendocino Laysan Al- 
batross returned for its 18th winter 22 Nov 
(Tom Reid). A probable Laysan Albatross x 
Black-footed Albatross hybrid was on Mon- 
terey Bay, Santa Cruz 21 Aug (ShJ). A juv. 
Short-tailed Albatross at Bodega Canyon, 
Sonoma 20 Nov (DSg, TMcG, SNGH, ph. 
Martijn Verdoes) and a Hawaiian Petrel off Ft. 
Bragg, Mendocino 15 Aug (ShJ, ph. TMcG, ph. 
SBT) were the season’s only representatives of 
these two species, which have become regular 
offshore in recent years. The record invasion 
by Cook’s Petrels in Jul did not continue into 
the fall, at least not within reach of pelagic 
birding trips; the only report was of a single 
individual on Monterey Bay, Monterey 6 Aug 
(ShJ). Instead, the standout Pterodroma of the 
season was a Great-winged Petrel of sub- 
species gouldi on Monterey Bay 18 Sep (p.a., 
TEa, ph. Martijn Verdoes, ph. DSg, Monterey 
Seabirds), providing a first Santa Cruz record 
and the 3rd record for the Region and North 


America. An inshore incursion by Northern 
Fulmars in mid-Nov, exemplified by counts of 
470 attracted to a rotting Blue Whale carcass 
at Bean Hollow S.B., San Mateo 20 Nov (GrH) 
and 1775 at Pt. Pinos, Monterey during a 
storm 21 Nov (BLS), was followed by a sig- 
nificant die-off, with hundreds found dead on 
beaches over several subsequent weeks. Both 
the seasonal total of Flesh-footed Shearwater 
reports (20 between 9 Sep and 25 Oct) and 
the high of 7 off Monterey 8 Oct (ShJ) were 
higher than average. Three Black-vented 
Shearwaters flying northward at Pigeon Pt., 
San Mateo 16 Oct (RSTh) were the only ones 
reported. Eighteen Wilson’s Storm-Petrels, an 
average showing, were reported 13 Aug-3 Oct 
from Monterey n. to Mendocino. An observa- 
tion of 2 each of Leach’s and Least Storm-Pe- 
trels seen from Pt. Pinos, Monterey during a 
storm 21 Nov (tBLS) was extremely unusual; 
even during storms, neither species is typical- 
ly seen from shore (away from Leach’s breed- 
ing areas) in the Region, and Least Storm-Pe- 
trels were in low numbers offshore this sea- 
son. On 6 Sep at EL, an ad. Brown Booby 
(MtB, ph. OsJ, JTz) was outshone by a juv. 
Neotropic Cormorant (ph., tJTz, MtB); the 
latter bird provided the first Regional record 
and the state’s first coastal record (p.a.). 
Brandt’s Cormorants attempted record-late 
nesting at Seacliff S.B., Santa Cruz, with a 
dozen new nests initiated in Sep and incubat- 
ing birds observed as late as 23 Oct. However, 
none of these late nesting attempts were suc- 
cessful, as the last young successfully fledged 
in early Sep (DLSu). Brown Pelican numbers 
at EL were unusually low, peaking at only 95 
on 6 Aug (PRBO). One at Sherman I. 29 


Nov-3 Dec (DaW, JSL) provided the 5th 
record for Sacramento and was also seen in 
Solano. 

BITTERNS THROUGH CRANES 

A notable two or three broods of American Bit- 
terns were found at Struve Slough, Santa Cruz 
18 Aug (LGo, JPo et al). Least Bitterns contin- 
ued near Clear L., Lake 6-13 Aug (at least 5 
birds in three locations; FHa, mob.) and at 
Yolo Bypass W.A., Yolo 14 Aug (SCH, MP) and 
10 Sep (Chuck Brittain); Sonoma’s 2nd record 
consisted of 2 birds near Bloomfield late Jul 
into Aug (Lorri Duckworth). Among five re- 
ports of single Cattle Egrets away from the C.V. 
2 Aug-21 Nov was Napa's first since 30 Nov 
1986, at Napa Valley College 21 Nov (LKe). 
Coastal White-faced Ibis were reported in good 
numbers throughout the fall; 14 at El. 24 Aug 
(MtB, OsJ, JTz) provided the 3rd island record 
and one at L. Merced, S.E 30 Oct (DMo, m.ob.) 
was likewise notable. Five at Salt Springs Val- 
ley Res. 2 Sep (Dan Maxwell) were unexpect- 
ed in Calaveras. 

Juv. Northern Goshawks were reported 
from Sonoma at Tolay Creek Ranch 17 Nov 
(RAR) and Westside R.P. at Bodega Bay 21 
Nov (RMe). The continuing Sonoma Com- 
mon Black-Hawk was seen again at Laguna de 
Santa Rosa 5 Aug and 12 Sep (ph. Stan 
Moore). Migrant Broad-winged Hawks were 
reported from Marin, San Francisco, San Ma- 
teo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cniz 9 Sep-2 Nov. 
Swainson’s Hawks along Ramal Rd. in e. Sono- 
ma, including 2 juvs. 4 Aug (RAR) and 2 ads. 
22 Aug (AWgh), may have been the family re- 
ported 31 Jul (MBe) from nearby Napa. Nine 
migrant Swainson’s reported from five coastal 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


157 


NORTHERN CALIFORNIA 



Neotropic Cormorant was unrecorded in the Northern California region until this juvenile was detected on Southeast Farallon 
Island, San Francisco County on 6 September 2010. Photograph by Jim Tietz. 


and near-coastal counties from Marin to San 
Benito 30 Aug-10 Nov included a notable 5 
birds from Santa Clara', more surprising were 
2 juvs. apparently wintering in Half Moon 
Bay, San Mateo 26 Nov+ (AJ, m.ob.). An ad. 
dark-morph Harlan’s Hawk near the Hwy. 
113/Flannery Rd. jet. in e. Solano 12 Nov 
(Zach Smith, EP) was followed by an ad. light 
morph there 23 Nov (Zach Smith). The Crest- 
ed Caracara remained through the season 
near Ft. Dick, Del Norte (m.ob.). Six Merlins 
in Aug included very early birds in Humboldt 
1 Aug (Kl), Sciu Mateo 8 Aug (George Chris- 
man), and Del Norte 13 Aug (LuB). The Clap- 
per Rail continued at Heron’s Head Park, S.F. 
through the season (m.ob.). A single Greater 
Sandhill Crane remained at Bridgeport, Mono 
through 30 Oct (m.ob.), when it was joined 
by 2 Lesser Sandhill Cranes (KNN), perhaps 
the first of this latter subspecies for Mono. A 
southbound Sandhill Crane seen over Rodeo 
Lagoon, Marin 29 Nov (Eddie Bartley et al.) 
eventually flew across the Golden Gate, pro- 
viding the 2nd S.F. record. 

SHOREBIRDS 

Nine American Golden-Plovers 27 Aug-23 
Nov, all juvs., included one at the Fresno 
W.T.P 16-22 Nov (ph. GaW, JSy et ah), the 
hrst for Fresno. Twenty-two Solitary Sand- 
pipers were reported from 14 counties 1 
Aug-28 Sep. An impressive total of 113 Less- 
er Yellowlegs at Crescent City 16 Aug (LuB) 
may have represented the highest count ever 
for Del Norte. Four Hudsonian Godwits, all 
juvs., were found: near Corcoran, Kings 22-28 


Aug (ph. Mark Stacy) and the 7th, 8th, and 
9th for Humboldt at Eel River W.A. 5 Sep (ph. 
SMcA), n. Humboldt Bay 6 Sep (TDan 
Maxwell, RHw), and Cock Robin 1. 6-9 Oct 
(ph. SMcA, KBu, TKz, Jesse Sargent). A Black 
Turnstone at the Upper Truckee R. delta, El 
Dorado 30 Aug (RPD) was thought to be the 
hrst for the Tahoe Basin. 

Inland Red Knots included 2 at Crowley L., 
Mono 16 Sep (PJM) and one n. of Stratford, 
Kings 30 Sep (JSy). Two juv. Sanderlings at 
Red Bluff R.A. 18-19 Sep (tBED) provided 
only the 2nd Tehama record. Semipalmated 
Sandpipers were well reported, with at least 70 
in 17 counties 1 Aug-21 Sep. Over 140 Baird’s 
Sandpipers in 22 counties 1 Aug-2 Oct in- 
cluded a pure flock of 28 juvs. at the sw. cor- 
ner of Goose L. 5 Sep (SCR), the highest count 
ever for Modoc. Over 150 Pectoral Sandpipers 
in 18 counties 1 Aug-8 Nov included one at 
Salt Springs Valley Res. 16 Sep QLx), only the 
2nd for Calaveras. Sharp-tailed Sandpipers 
were reported from Yolo Bypass W.A. 7-17 Oct 
(Yolo’s 11th; Scott Hoppe, m.ob.) and H.R.S. 
12 Oct (RJR). Santa Cmz’s Rock Sandpiper re- 
turned to Santa Cruz for an 8th winter 30 Nov 
(PDB). A total of 11 Stilt Sandpipers in seven 
counties 14 Aug-20 Nov was about average 
but included Madera's hrst at the Madera 
W.T.P 14-17 Aug (tLyH, ph. GaW, m.ob.). 
The only Buff-breasted Sandpiper was a juv. 
reported from L. Talowa, Del Norte 19 Aug 
(LuB). Eight Ruffs in hve counties 17 Aug-27 
Oct continued the weak fall showing of the 
past two years, although 3 together at Bridge- 
port, Mono 11 Sep (RS) were notable. Santa 


Clara and Humboldt failed to produce any 
Ruffs in 2010, the hrst time this has happened 
in 20 years and 13+ years, respectively. A Wil- 
son’s Phalarope at the Lodi W.T.P, San Joaquin 
6-21 Nov (TDM et al.) was late. Two Red 
Phalaropes at Sherman 1. 25 Oct (DaW) pro- 
vided Sacramento with its 2nd record. 

GULLS THROUGH ALODS 

A count of 2200 Sabine’s Gulls in the Bodega 
Canyon/Cordell Bank area, Sonoma/Marin 3 
Oct (RS, v.ob.) was extremely high for such a 
late date, while 550 seen from the n. jetty of 
Humboldt Bay, Humboldt 17 Aug (DFx, JCP) 
provided a record-high count from shore. Nine 
were in Mono, Placer, Siskiyou, and Yolo 17 
Sep-early Nov, representing an average show- 
ing inland. A juv. Little Gull at the Eel R. 
mouth 31 Oct-2 Nov (DCo, LTu, ph. SMcA, 
v.ob.) provided the 6th record for Humboldt. A 
Laughing Gull, not quite annual in the Region, 
was in San Rafael, Marin 30 Sep-2 Oct (ph. 
David R. Moore, Michael Stevenson). Five 
Franklin’s Gulls in hve counties 15 Aug-6 Oct 
provided a below-average total; one of these, 
off Noyo, Mendocino 15 Aug (ShJ), was off- 
shore, where rarely recorded in the Region. A 
juv. Mew Gull in Half Moon Bay, San Mateo 22 
Aug (AJ) was very early but not unprecedent- 
ed. The only Thayer’s Gulls reported far inland 
were singles on the Klamath R. below Iron 
Gate Dam, Siskiyou 31 Oct (RE, Steve Nelson) 
and in Kings at Hanford 21-24 Nov (ph. MSy) 
and Corcoran 29 Nov (ph. SDS). Similarly, 3 
Glaucous-winged Gulls were inland, with sin- 
gles at L. Almanor, Plumas 27-30 Oct (CPD, 
Scott Edwards, Amber Edwards), s. of Corco- 
ran, Kings 26-28 Nov (ph. JLt, MSy), and near 
Porterville, Tulare 29 Nov (SDS). Inland West- 
ern Gulls included singles at San Luis Res., 
Merced 9 Aug (PJM), Tracy W.T.P, San Joaquin 
23 Sep (Terry Ronneberg), and American R. 
Parkway, Sacramento 1-10 Nov (WEH, DaW). 
A juv. Lesser Black-backed Gull at Topaz L. 30 
Oct (KNN) provided a 3rd Mono record, while 
a third-cycle bird at the Davis W.T.P 9 Nov 
(TEa) represented Yolo’s 5th record. Of 3 Glau- 
cous Gulls reported, 2 were inland at the Davis 
W.T.P., Yolo: an ad. 21 Nov and a second-cycle 
bird 30 Nov (both TEa). Single migrant Black 
Terns were in Santa Cruz at Watsonville 
Slough 22-23 Aug (RgW, Nanci Adams) and 
Capitola Beach 3 Sep (DLSu) and in Oakley, 
Contra Costa 20 Sep (ph. RCP). Of 50 Com- 
mon Terns reported from coastal areas, 38 
were in one flock at the n. jetty of Humboldt 
Bay, Humboldt 17 Aug (DFx, JCP); 43 in inland 
areas included Madera’s hrst three records, 
with different individuals at the Madera W.T.P. 
16-17 Aug (ph. LyH et al.), 2 Sep (ph. LyH), 
and 19 Sep (ph. GaW). The only Arctic Tern 


158 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


onshore was at Tolowa Dunes S.E, Del Norte 10 
Sep (TKz). At H.R.S., 18 ad. Black Skimmers 
had 12 nestlings and one fledgling 7 Aug 
(RJR); 25 (11 of them juvs.) at Redwood 
Shores, San Mateo 16 Oct (RSTh) likely in- 
cluded some of these H.R.S. birds. The only 
obvious migrant skimmers were 2 at Carmel 
River S.B., Monterey 1-7 Aug (Sarah Lane, Bet- 
sy Adler, m.ob.). Inland jaegers included at 
least 4 Parasitics in Mono 4-28 Sep, Stanislaus’s 
first Parasitic at the Modesto W.T.E 26 Sep 
(ERC, HMR), and Placer’s 4th Long-tailed at N. 
Lake Tahoe 30 Aug (ph. WRi). At Bodega 
Canyon and Cordell Bank, Sonoma/Marin, 
300+ Long-tailed Jaegers 11 Aug (ShJ) nearly 
doubled last falls record one-day count; for 
comparison, that trip recorded only 4 Poma- 
rine and 7 Parasitic Jaegers. 

A juv. Common Murre at the Stevens Cr. 
mouth in Mountain View, Santa Clara 3 Sep 
(WGB et al.) was unusually far inside S.E Bay. 
A count of 101 Marbled Murrelets between 
Moss Beach and Pigeon Pt. 30 Nov (LBt, 
RSTh) provided one of the highest San Mateo 
counts in recent years. Fourteen Xantus’s 
Murrelets offshore included 2 hypoleuca off 
Half Moon Bay, San Mateo 17 Sep (ShJ). One 
Xantus’s Murrelet was seen from Pt. Pinos, 
Monterey after a storm 21 Nov (DR). The sea- 
son’s high count of 6000 Cassin’s Auklets off 
Half Moon Bay, San Mateo 2 Oct (ShJ) may 
have reflected the double-brooding that was 
documented on EL last summer. 

DOVES THROUGH THRUSHES 

Eleven records of White-winged Dove spanned 
the season 24 Aug-26 Nov. They included 
Sacramento’s first at Citrus Heights 16-18 Sep 
(ph. MkM), Mariposa’s hrst on White Rock Rd. 
18 Sep (DLSu), Modoc’s 2nd at Tule L. 26 Nov 
(ph. SCR), and Santa Cruz’s latest ever, also 26 
Nov (DLSu). The Modoc bird was in the snow, 
a setting particularly mismatched with this 
species, which is generally accustomed to 
more hospitable southerly climes. Common 
Ground-Doves, exceptional anywhere in the 
Region, included one at the Carmel R. mouth, 
Monterey 18 Nov (CHo) and the first for Kings 
at Boggs Slough 12 Sep (RH). Among three re- 
ports of Yellow-billed Cuckoos was one from 
outside the current known breeding range, a 
single bird at C.R.P. 15 Aug 0Tr)> the first for 
Sacramento in many years. Single Common 
Poorwills were on the C.V floor, where rare, at 
Gustine W.T.P., Merced 9 Aug (PJM) and at the 
bustling River Park Shopping Center in Fres- 
no, Fresno 17 Oct (George Folsom). Four 
Black Swifts, including Yolo’s hrst for fall at L. 
Solano Diversion Dam 19 Sep (Ron Melcher), 
was an average showing. 

A Chimney Swift over the Mokelumne R. 


NORTHERN CALIFORNIA 


in Acampo 9 Sep (tDGY) furnished the 2nd 
record for San Joaquin and the 4th for the C.V. 
The only other record was of one over FI. 14 
Sep (PRBO). The last Vaux’s Swift of the sea- 
son was a late migrant over Sacramento, 
Sacramento 29 Nov (Dan Airola). Three re- 
ports of Ruby-throated Hummingbird repre- 
sent our best seasonal showing ever (p.a.). 
Reported were an ad. female captured and 
measured on FI. 29 Aug (OsJ, ph. MtB, ph. 
JTz), an ad. female in Bolinas, Marin 9-12 Aug 
(KH), and a juv. female at the same location 
24 Aug (KH). Continuing a recent trend, San- 
ta Cruz hosted numerous migrant Black- 
chinned Hummingbirds. As in the past, most 
were females or imm. males. The 14-16 re- 
ported this season spanned the period 1 
Aug-10 Oct (m.ob.). Modest numbers of 
Lewis’s Woodpeckers were reported overall, 
with a high count of 46 along a 4-km section 
of White Rock Rd., Mariposa 20 Oct (DLSu). 
Providing a notable record for S.E, a 
Williamson’s Sapsucker was at Presidio N.P 
22 Sep (Andrew Scavullo, JsC). 

Captured, banded, measured, and pho- 
tographed, a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at FI. 8 
Oct (ph. NS, OsJ, ph. tMtB, Dan Maxwell, Sara 
Chandler) was thoroughly documented. If ac- 
cepted by the C.B.R.C., it will be the 8th record 
for the island and only the 9th for the Region. 
Five Least Flycatchers were all coastal, with 
one in Humboldt, 3 on FL, and one in Santa 
Cruz- Eastern Phoebes were split, with 3 
coastal (2 on FI. and one in Marin) and 3 in- 
land (singles in Yolo, Merced, and Kings). A 
Great Crested Flycatcher, representing a hrst 
for mainland S.E, was at the S.E Zoo 28-31 Oct 
(p.a., ph. tHuC, m.ob.). Standing out among 
15 coastal Tropical Kingbirds was one in the 
interior, Yolo’s hrst at N. Davis Pond 20 Nov+ 
(Chris Dunford, m.ob.). Constituting another 
hrst for Yolo, a Cassin’s Kingbird was at the w. 
end of Road 27, 11 km nw. of Winters 15 Oct+ 
(SHa, MP, m.ob.). A Cassin’s at 2286 m at Dev- 
ils Postpile N.M. 27 Aug (tPBC) set a high-el- 
evation record for Madera and probably for the 
state. A Western Kingbird at Heather Farm 
Park in Walnut Creek, Contra Costa 2 Nov 


(Ted Robertson) was late. The only Eastern 
Kingbirds reported were in Santa Cmz: one at 
Seacliff S.B. 7 Aug (DLSu), one at Twin Lakes 
S.B. 27 Aug (PDB, SGe et al), and one at An- 
tonelli Pond 3 Sep (Gabriel Gartner). Del 
Norte’s 5th Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was at the 
Smith River Bottoms 5-20 Nov (LuB, ph. 
SMcA, m.ob.). 

At the Vista Point ponds in McKinleyville, 
a Brown Shrike 21 Nov+ (GSL, LPL, m.ob.) 
provided the hrst record for Humboldt and 
just the 4th for the state. A Bell’s Vireo at L. 
Success, Tulare 15 Sep (SDS) was near the site 
where a pair was thought to have bred last 
season. The Region’s only Plumbeous Vireo 
was also in Tulare, at Veterans Park in Porter- 
ville 7 Oct (SDS). An ad. Hutton’s Vireo feed- 
ing a juv. at the Big Sur R. mouth, Monterey 16 
Sep (LGo, WGo) established a record late 
breeding date for the species anywhere in its 
range. A Blue-headed Vireo in Eureka, Hum- 
boldt 26 Oct (ph. SMcA, DCo, TKz, LTu, RbF) 
awaits C.B.R.C. review. The only Philadelphia 
Vireo reported was at Pt. Reyes N.S., Marin 29 
Sep-1 Oct (SNGH, Jim White). Three Red- 
eyed Vireos included singles at Pt. Reyes N.S. 
19 Sep (SBT, LTer), Little R., Humboldt 16 Sep 
(KI), and Babel Slough, Yolo 14 Sep (GEw). 
Completing the trifecta at Pt. Reyes N.S., a 
Yellow-green Vireo was reported from Chim- 
ney Rock 19 Sep (RS). 

Out of place on the C.V hoor, a Steller’s Jay 
in Sacramento, Sacramento 14 Nov+ (DPM, 
Dan Airola, m.ob.) drew the attention of many 
birders. Western Scrub-Jays staged a minor in- 
vasion along the immediate coast away from 
areas of residency, with six reports in Hum- 
boldt, one in Del Norte, and one in Marin. A to- 
tal of 105 American Crows near Topaz L. 13 
Nov (KNN) was a high count for Mono, espe- 
cially away from the lowlands. Monitoring 
Doppler radar images led to the discovery of a 
roost of roughly 100,000 swallows, mostly 
Tree Swallows, 26 km e. of Los Banos, Merced 
19 Oct (Bruce Cousins). A Barn Swallow over 
FI. 17 Nov (NS, JTz) established the latest fall 
record for the island. Del Norte's 2nd Oak Tit- 
mouse visited a feeder in residential Crescent 


^ A Photographs of a dark-billed magpie in a flock of Yellow-billed Magpies at Pilot Hill, f/ Dorado 30 Nov (ph. Terry Arm- 
^Astrong) generated much discussion. Black-billed Magpies have occasionally been reported w. of the Sierra Nevada. 
However, exceptfor one that spent two winters at a high Sierra lake in Fresno in the early 1930s [Condor 35 : 198 and 36: 217), 
all have been attributed to escaped or released caged birds or were not sufficiently documented. Therefore, if substantiated, 
this bird would represent the 2nd record w. of the Sierra and the first within the range of the Yellow-billed Magpie. Fueling 
the discussion was the bird's apparent size and shape. Based on the photographs, the bird appeared structurally identical to 
the Yellow-billed Magpies with which it associated. Yet there is reportedly little if any overlap in bill size, tail length, and body 
size between the species, with Black-billed Magpies being larger in all respects. The lack of an obvious difference in structure 
led to the suggestion that this bird could have been a Yellow-billed Magpie with a pigment abnormality. Unfortunately, the 
bird was not observed again, and neither its identity nor its provenance could be confirmed. 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


159 



NORTHERN CALIFORNIA 


Q h This season, we experienced an irruption of Evening Grosbeaks on a scale not seen since the late 1980s. Reports came from low-elevation coastal and Central Valley sites starting in late 
3/iSep in Humboldt and spreading southward, with numbers peaking in Sep n. of San Francisco and in Oct s. of San Francisco (Figure 1). Though the number of individuals reported does 
not compare to historical irruptions, the geographic spread is similar. Figure 2 demonstrates the growing power of eBird to confirm anecdotal reports, allowing one to compare this year's num- 
bers (in terms of percentage of checklists reporting the species) with the past several years. These data also suggest that the irruption may be building steam as we move into winter. Informa- 
tion from Regional Editors in Washington and Oregon and analyses of eBird data confirmed that this season's Evening Grosbeak movements are widespread along the West Coast, with numbers 
and geographic range of records in both states well above average throughout Sep and into Oct, dipping in Nov and rising again in Dec. 

C.B.C. and B.B.S. data show long-term declines in Evening Grosbeak abundance across North America. Major winter irruptions s. of the breeding range in the e. United States, common into 
the late 1 980s, are now a thing of the past. Likewise, C.B.C. data from Washington, Oregon, and California indicate that the large numbers frequently observed on the West Coast prior to the 
early 1 990s have also not been seen in recent decades. These West Coast irruptions have been generally thought to be more altitudinal movements of locally breeding populations of the west- 
ern subspecies (brooksi) than latitudinal movements. However, we have reason to believe that, at least this year, the irruptive birds in California may be moving down from the north. Sewall et 
ai. [Condor 106: 161) found that at least four distinct call types among Evening Grosbeaks may allow one to determine the breeding range of these irruptive visitors. For the most part. Sierra- 
breeding birds give call Type 2 (likely corresponding to a subspecies recognized by Grinnell as colifornicus, currently lumped with brooksi). Based on reports from Yolo and recordings from San- 
ta Cruz, this year's birds are giving Type 1 calls (fide Tom Hahn), the call type mainly associated with breeders from the Pacific Northwest and the n. Rockies. In addition, the timing of reports 
this year is at least suggestive of a southward movement of the phenomenon, if not of the grosbeaks. 


EVGR NAB Report 

bin. of SF 



MS Sep 16-30 Sep 1-1 5 Oct 16-31 Oct 1-15 Nov 16-30 Nov 


Figure 1 . Number of Evening Grosbeak reports from the Region for autumn 2010, comparing to- 
tals from north of San Francisco with those from south of San Francisco. 


eBird Frequency for EVGR 

1.4% 



wkl wk2 wk3 wk4 wkl wk2 wk3 wk4 wkl wk2 wk3 wk4 wkl wk2 wk3 wk4 

Figure 2. Data from eBird showing percentage of complete checklists for California reporting 
Evening Grosbeaks, comparing 2010 to the average of 2000-2009. 


City 26 Oct-30 Nov (Sky Lloyd). Another, Del 
Nortes 3rd, was at the Smith River Bottoms 12 
Nov (ph. TKz). Lake's hrst fall record of 
Mountain Bluebird was of a female at Hull Mt. 
12 Oct ORW). As many as 20,000 American 
Robins feasting on juniper berries on the ex- 
posed shoreline of Eagle L. in late Nov (LOr) 
must have been a spectacle. 

THRASHERS THROUGH WARBLERS 

Five Gray Catbirds furnished the Regions 2nd 
highest total for any season in the past 20+ 
years, with 2 birds at Pt. Reyes, Marin (10 Sep 
and 18 Oct) and 3 on El. (8 & 20 Oct and 9 
Nov). Sage Thrashers away from their normal 
range included Madera's earliest fall record 29 
Aug se. of Madera (ph. GaW), 2 each in Mon- 
terey and Tulare, and singles in Mendocino, 
Tuolumne, Humboldt, Santa Cruz, San Benito, 
and El. The only Brown Thrasher was at Pt. 
Pinole R.S. 24 Nov+ (ph. LLk, ph. Linda 
Pittman) and was Contra Costa's hrst. Seven 
Red-throated Pipits included one inland at 
Yolo Basin W.A., Yolo 19 Oct (tJCS, JSL, RAR). 


Four Bohemian Waxwings were near Eagle L., 
Lassen 20 Nov (LOr). Trinity's 2nd Lapland 
Longspur was an early bird found n. of Coffee 
Creek 7 Sep (ADB). Other Lapland Longspur 
reports came from 12 counties 6 Oct-28 Nov. 
Chestnut-collared Longspurs were at C.R.R 9 
Oct OTr), Jenner Headlands, Sonoma 11 Oct 
(RDiG), Redwood Creek, Humboldt 14 Oct 
(SMcA), EL 17-20 Oct (PRBO), and H.R.S. 13- 
18 Nov (RJR). The longspur event of the sea- 
son was the 4th Regional and 8th state record 
of Smith’s Longspur at EL 6-8 Nov (ph., tNS; 
tJTz, ET, EA), a first for the island. A Snow 
Bunting was along Bald Hills Rd., Humboldt 
14-15 Nov (TKz, DCo, ph. LTu). 

Aside from reports of an outstanding Oct in 
Humboldt, the warbler season was generally un- 
remarkable, with most species showing up in 
below-average numbers. The total of 25 Ten- 
nessee Warblers was just under our 20-year av- 
erage of 29; however, 5 in Santa Cniz set a new 
county record. Both Virginia Warbler reports 
came from the same county (San Mateo) and 
same observer, with one in Half Moon Bay 26 


Sep (AJ) and the other at Pilarcitos Cr. mouth 6 
Oct (AJ et al). Two Northern Parulas provided 
our lowest total in at least 20 years, with a late 
singing bird at C.R.R 22 Aug (Paul Cordera, 
JTr, CCo, DKo, MkM, TFi) and a female in 
Trinidad, Humboldt 1 Oct (MHa). Humboldt ac- 
counted for 9 of our 27 Chestnut-sided War- 
blers, with all reports coastal except for one 
that met its end against a window in Fresno, 
Fresno 30 Aug (LyH) and another at Babel 
Slough, Yolo 28 Sep (TEa, KvG). The total of 10 
Magnolia Warblers was half our average, and 
we missed Cape May Warbler for only the 3rd 
time in the past 20 years. Eleven Black-throat- 
ed Blue Warblers hit right on our average num- 
ber. As with Cape Mays, we received no reports 
of Black-throated Green Warblers for only the 
3rd time in the last two decades. All 10 Black- 
burnian Warbler reports came from coastal 
counties. We received only two reports of 
Prairie Warbler (compared to an average of 1 1), 
and both were in Humboldt: one at n. spit, 
Humboldt Bay, Humboldt 24 Sep (KI) and one 
al the Eel R. mouth 12 Oct (ph. SMcA). The 


160 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 



NORTHERN CALIFORNIA 


highlight among 110 Palm Warblers was one of 
the e. subspecies hypochrysea, a first docu- 
mented record of this taxon for El. 30 Nov (ph. 
NS, ET, JTz, EA, fide JLD and PP). A Bay- 
breasted Warbler at Tolay Creek Ranch 14 Sep 
(PBC, RAR) was Sonoma's 2nd. Our other 2 
Bay-breasteds were in Humboldt: one in Orick 
13 Oct (KI) and the other in Trinidad 14 Oct 
(MHa). Eorty-four Blackpoll Warblers fell well 
under our fall average of 68. A female Cerulean 
Warbler banded at Lanphere Dunes, Humboldt 
(LTu, Kim Hollinger, ph. RbF, ph. Vitek Jirinec, 
m.ob.) was the 10th for the Region and the 
18th for the state. Twenty-nine Black-and- 
white Warblers and 20 American Redstarts 
were both below-average numbers for these 
species. A single Ovenbird on EE 1-3 Oct 
(PRBO) matched our previous low for this 
species, and 13 Northern Waterthrushes was 
just 60% of our average. El. produced a Mourn- 
ing Warbler 12 Sep (Dan Maxwell; ph., tOsJ) 
and a Connecticut Warbler 14 Sep (ph., tMtB; 
ph., tJTz; tOsJ, Dan Maxwell). Continuing its 
domination of warbler records this season, 
Humboldt accounted for our only Hooded War- 
blers, with one at Mad River C.P. 6-12 Sep and 
another at Mad R. estuary 29 Oct-1 Nov (Brent 
Campos, TWL et al). Canada Warblers were at 
Pine Gulch, Marin 10 Sep (KEI), Pt. Reyes, 
Marin 23 Sep (ph. David Moore), El. 3 Oct 
(PRBO), and Redwood Creek, Humboldt 17-22 
Oct (LuB, DCo, TKz, m.ob.). 

SPARROWS THROUGH FINCHES 

Six Green-tailed Towhees included 4 on the 
C.V. floor (3 in Sacramento and one in Yolo), 
one in S.E, and one in the foothills of Solano. A 
Cassin’s Sparrow along Redwood Cr. in Orick 
13-19 Oct (KI, ph. SMcA, m.ob.) was Hum- 
boldt's 2nd, the 5th non-El. record for the Re- 
gion, and only the 2nd non-EI. fall Regional 
record. American Tree Sparrows were in 
McKinleyville, Humboldt 22-24 Oct (GSL, LPL) 
and at Davis Creek, Modoc 28 Nov (SCR). 
Eorty-nine Clay-colored Sparrows were all in 
coastal or S.E Bay Area counties. Black-throat- 
ed Sparrows were in Coyote Hills R.P., Alameda 
22-26 Sep (ph. Gail West, Stephanie Eloyd, ph. 
m.ob.), near Arroyo Seco, Monterey 25 Sep (ph. 
Bruce Einocchio, fide JSo), and along Little 
Panoche Rd., Fresno 22-23 Oct (ADeM, JSL). 
Lark Bunting reports continue to be sparse, 
with just 2 birds this fall, one on EL 25 Aug 
(PRBO) and one at Pt. Reyes, Marin 16 Sep 
(Barbara Carlson). Swamp Sparrows put in a 
decent showing, with 38 reports that included 
a first record for Kings in Hanford 23 Nov-i- 
(ADeM) and a 2nd for Modoc at Tule L. 26 Nov 
(SCR). The total of 89 White-throated Spar- 
rows was below average. Harris’s Sparrows were 
along Millville Plains Rd., Shasta 26 Oct (Frank 


& Daliss Sanderson), on EL 11 & 28-29 Nov 
(PRBO; EA, JTz, NS, ET), and in Crescent City, 
Del Norte 29 Nov (Gary Maschmeyer). 

Nine Summer Tanagers were all coastal, 
with S.E producing 4 of those. We set a new 
Regional high for any season with 3 Scarlet 
Tanagers; singles at Pt. Reyes, Marin 8 Oct 
(ph. ET), the S.E Zoo, S.E 28-31 Oct (tDPM, 
tAlan Ridley, tMWE, m.ob.), and on EL 6 
Nov (NS, JTz et al.). Sixteen Rose-breasted 
Grosbeaks and 8 Indigo Buntings were close 
to average numbers for these species. A Paint- 
ed Bunting at Ferndale Bottoms 8-9 Oct (ph. 
TKz, Jesse Sargent, m.ob.) was Humboldt’s 4th. 
Four of our 1 1 Bobolinks were on EL 13 
Sep-7 Oct. A Rusty Blackbird at the Woodland 
WT.R 28 Oct (TEa, JCS) would be Yolo’s 2nd 
if accepted by the C.B.R.C. Doran R.P., Sonoma 
was the location of two Rusty Blackbird re- 
ports, one undocumented report of a female 
1 1 Nov (DHD, followed by a male 18 Nov (ph. 
Dan Brown). Sixteen Orchard Orioles were all 
in coastal or S.E Bay Area counties, but our 
only Baltimore Oriole was inland at the Sacra- 
mento Bypass 11 Sep (Yolo’s 2nd; TEa, KvG). 

Addenda: The following significant records 
did not make it into the summer 2010 report. 
The first photographically documented 
Barred Owl in Modoc was paired with a Spot- 
ted Owl at a Manzanita Ridge nest site 30 Jun 
(DEQ, ph. JLD, KAb). Great Gray Owls had 
been confirmed breeding in the state only as 
far n. as El Dorado, so a fledgling pho- 
tographed at an undisclosed location in Mod- 
oc 16 Jul (ph. DEQ) established not only a 
first county breeding record but also the 
northernmost breeding record for the state by 
roughly 300 km. 

Corrigendum: Mendocino’s first winter record 
of White-throated Swift, cited in the winter 
2009-2010 report, was misattributed. The ac- 
tual observer was JRW. We regret this error. 

Cited observers (county coordinators in bold- 
face): Ken Able (Lassen), Elizabeth Ames, 
Alan D. Barron, Leonie Batkin, Bob Battagin, 
Murray Berner (Napa), William G. Bousman 
(Santa Clara), Matthew Brady (Stanislaus), 
Phil D. Brown, Lucas Brug, Ken Burton, Helen 
Button, Eric R. Caine, Josiah Clark, Peter B. 
Colasanti, Daryl Coldren, Chris Conard 
(Sacramento), Hugh Cotter, Rudy Darling 
(Nevada), Jeff N. Davis (Madera), Al DeMarti- 
ni, Bruce E. Deuel (n. C.V counties), Ryan Di- 
Gaudio, Colin P. Dillingham (Plumas and 
Sierra), Jon L. Dunn, Robert R Dunn, Todd 
Easterla, Mark W. Eaton (San Francisco), Ray 
Ekstrom (Siskiyou), Gil C. Ewing, Brian Fitch, 
Tim Fitzer, David Fix, Rob Fowler (RbF; 


Humboldt), Steve Gerow (Santa Cruz), Steve 
A. Glover (Contra Costa), Lois Goldfrank, 
Wally Goldfrank, Kevin Guse, Melody Hamil- 
ton, Steve C. Hampton, Keith Hansen, Rob 
Hansen, W. Edward Harper, Syd Harrison, 
Garth Harwood, Floyd Hayes, Lynn Hemink, 
Rob Hewitt, David Hofmann, Craig Hohen- 
berger, Steven N. G. Howell, John E. Hunter 
(Trinity), Ken Irwin, Alvaro Jaramillo, Richard 
G. Jeffers, Oscar Johnson, Robert J. Keiffer 
(Mendocino), Roland Kenner, Pat Kenny, Larry 
Kent, Dan Kopp, Tony Kurz, Robin L. C. 
Leong (Solano), Tom W. Leskiw, Gary S. 
Lester, Lauren R Lester, John Lockhart, Jim 
Lomax, Laura Look, John S. Luther, MichaelJ. 
Mammoser, Timothy D. Manolis, Mark Mar- 
tucci. Sean McAllister, Todd McGrath, Richard 
Merriss, Peter J. Metropulos (San Mateo), Do- 
minik Mosur, Dan P. Murphy, Kristie N. Nel- 
son (Mono), Frances Oliver (San Joaquin), 
Lew Oring, Ed Pandolfino (Placer), Michael 
Perrone, Eric Pilotte, Jeff Poklen, Gary W. 
Potter (Fresno), Jude C. Power, Robert C. 
Power, Peter Pyle, David E. Quady, Harold M. 
Reeve, Will Richardson, Robert J. Richmond 
(Alameda), Don Roberson (Monterey), 
Michael M. Rogers, Stephen C. Rottenborn, 
Ruth A. Rudesill (Sonoma), Adam Searcy 
(Marin), Jeff Seay (Kings), Shearwater Jour- 
neys, Debra Love Shearwater, David Shuford, 
Dan Singer, Jim H. Snowden, John Sorensen, 
Mark Stacy, Rich Stallcup, John C. Sterling 
(Modoc, Alpine, Calaveras, and Yolo), Noah 
Stryker, David L. Suddjian (Santa Cruz), Bri- 
an L. Sullivan, Steven D. Summers (Tulare), 
Erika Taketa, Linda Terrill, Scott B. Terrill, 
Ronald S. Thorn, Jim Tietz (EL), John Tro- 
chet, Leslie Tucci (Del Norte), Steve Umland 
(Tuolumne), Kent Van Vuren (Merced and Sa?i 
Benito), David Vander Pluym (Mariposa), Jer- 
ry R. White (Lake), Alan Wight, Dan 
Williams, Roger Wolfe, Gary Woods, David 
Yee, Bob & Carol Yutzy (Shasta). Many more 
observers are not specifically cited; all are 
appreciated. O 


Jeff N. Davis, (Doves to Wrentit) 

7815 N. Palm Avenue, Suite 310 

Fresno, California 9371 1, (jdavis@harveyecoiogy.com) 

Ed Pandolfino, (Thrashers to Finches) 

5530 Delrose Court, Carmichael, California 95608 
(erpfromca@aol.com) 

Stephen C. Rottenborn 

(Loons to Frigatebirds, Larids to Alcids) 

983 University Avenue, Building D 
Los Gatos, California 95032 
(srottenborn@harveyecology.com) 

Michael M. Rogers 

(Waterfowl to Quail, Herons to Shorebirds) 

499 Novato Avenue, Sunnyvale, California 94086 
(m.m.rogers@comcast.net) 


VOLUME 65 (2011) 


NUMBER 1 


161 


Southern California 



Guy McCaskie 
Kimball L Garrett 


W ith La Nina conditions prevailing 
in the eastern Pacific Ocean, the 
Regions fall was typically warm 
and dry, with a record-breaking heat wave in 
late September. Early October saw some mon- 
soonal conditions in the south, and the first 
significant winter storm arrived late in Octo- 
ber, though November was largely dry. Migra- 
tion was largely unspectacular, and the ap- 
pearance of passerine vagrants was mixed, 
with various species being near, above, or be- 
low recent ten-year means. Passerine high- 
lights included four Yellow-green Vireos, a 
well-documented Winter Wren in San Diego 
County, Orange County’s first Curve-billed 
Thrasher, a Pyrrhuloxia in the Imperial Valley, 
and two Golden-winged Warblers. A moder- 
ate irruption of Red-breasted Nuthatches and 
a minor one of Evening Grosbeaks were wide- 
ly noted. In contrast to landbirds, it was a stel- 
lar fall for waterbirds, with California’s first 
bean-goose (provisionally considered a Taiga 
Bean-Goose), along with California’s eighth 
Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel, two Purple 
Gallinules within a few miles of each other, 
California’s first “twitchable” Black-tailed 
Gull, and the Region’s second Ivory Gull — a 
spectacular and tame adult that was ogled by 
hundreds of observers over its too-brief stay. 

Abbreviations: C.L. (China Lake Naval Air 
Weapons Station, extreme ne. Kent); EC.R. 
(Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley N.P., 
Inyo); G.H.R (Galileo Hill Park in extreme e. 
Kern); N.E.S.S. (n. end of the Salton Sea, 
Riverside); P.P. (Piute Ponds on Edwards 
A.EB., ne. Los Angeles); RM.N.A.S. (Pt. Mugu 
Naval Air Station, Ventura); S.C.R.E. (Santa 
Clara River Estuary, near Ventura, Ventura); 
S.E.S.S. (s. end of the Salton Sea, Imperial); 
S.EK.R.P (South Fork Kern River Preserve, 
near Weldon, Kern); S.J.W.A. (San Joaquin 
Wildlife Area, near Lakeview, Riverside); 
V.C.G.P (Ventura County Game Preserve, near 


Pt. Mugu Naval Air Station, Ventura). Museum 
collections abbreviated in the text are: LACM 
(Natural History Museum of Los Angeles 
County) and SDNHM (San Diego Natural His- 
tory Museum). Because most rarities in s. Cal- 
ifornia are seen by multiple observers, only 
the observer(s) initially finding and/or identi- 
fying the bird are included. Documentation 
for species on the California Bird Records 
Committee (C.B.R.C.) review list (see 
vtnvw.californiabirds.org) is forwarded to the 
C.B.R.C. and archived at the Western Founda- 
tion of Vertebrate Zoology in Camarillo. 

WATERFOWL THROUGH 
CORMORANTS 

A bean-goose, provisionally considered a 
Taiga Bean-Goose by experts in Asia, was 
with other geese at S.E.S.S. 9 Nov-12 Jan 
(AK, m.ob.) and was the first to be found in 
California and only the 4th bean-goose docu- 
mented in the Lower 48 states. Summering 
Brant remained at Salton Sea into Nov, with 3 
at S.E.S.S. 16 Nov (DVP) being the latest. 
Eight Tundra Swans at Tinemaha Res., Inyo 16 
Nov O&DP) and one at Morro Bay, San Luis 
Obispo 23 Nov QSR) were the earliest this fall, 
and 13 at S.E.S.S. 27 Nov (DV) was a large 
number for this far south. A Harlequin Duck, 


present since summer, remained around 
Cayucos, San Luis Obispo through 12 Nov 
(TME). Surf Scoters move southward through 
the interior every fall, and this fall was no ex- 
ception, with 16 found after 10 Oct, including 
one at an elevation of 2421 m in the Sierra 
Nevada near Aspendell, Inyo 4 Nov (DR). 


Two Black Scoters, the rarest scoter in Cali- 
fornia, especially so inland, were at S.E.S.S. 16 
Nov (LH). A Long-tailed Duck on Drumm 
Res., San Luis Obispo 28-29 Nov (TME) was a 
short distance inland. A Barrow’s Goldeneye 
at Senator Wash Res., Imperial 30 Nov (DG) 
was the only one reported. A Pacific Loon was 
inland at Klondike L. near Big Pine, Inyo 22 
Nov (T&JH), and another was “grounded” at 
Fish Creek in Anza Borrego Desert S.P, San 
Diego 9 Nov (MJ). The only Red-necked 
Grebes on the coast were single birds at Mor- 
ro Bay 12-16 Nov (GP), Ventura 10-29 Nov 
(KRe), El Segundo, Los Angeles 20 Nov OFG). 
and Bolsa Chica, Orange 24 Nov (BEDe), but 
one at C.L. 19-20 Oct (SLS) was inland, 
where much rarer. 

Northern Fulmars were more numerous 
than expected in Nov, as indicated by 350-t- 
from Montana de Oro S.P, San Luis Obispo 26 
Nov (TME), with many dead on beaches as 
far s. as the Mexican border at the end of the 
period. A Flesh-footed Shearwater, rare in s. 
California waters, was off Dana Pt., Orange 25 
Sep (BEDa), and another was 21 km w. of Pt. 
Loma, San Diego 4 Oct (BT). A Manx Shear- 
water, now found annually in s. California 
waters, was in the San Pedro Channel off Los 
Angeles 7 Nov (KLG). A Wilson’s Storm-Petrel 


21 km w. of Pt. Loma 3 & 6 Sep (TMVderH, 
TMcG) provides the 4th record for San Diego 
waters. An impressive “raft” of up to 10,000 
storm-petrels (7000 Leasts and 3000 Blacks) 
in Los Angeles waters 40 km e. of San 
Clemente 1. 2-12 Oct included a Wedge- 
rumped Storm-Petrel photographed 2 Oct 



This subadult Purple Gallinule in El Monte, Los Angeles County, California 21 (here 27) September through 8 October was re- 
markably the second of this species found in fall 2010 on the San Gabriel River by Morm Vargas. Photograph byRaulRoa. 


162 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 



The two previous Black-tailed Gulls known in California were seen only by their finders, so this adult photographed on the first days of its two short stays at Long Beach, Los Angeles County 8- 
10 (here 8, left) and 20-21 (here 20, right) November 2010 was a long-awaited bird for many. Photographs by Larry Samone (left) and ficMurayama. 


(JSF, MS), the 8th for California. 

An imm. Masked/Nazca Booby was pho- 
tographed 21 km w. of Pt. Loma 29 Aug (BJS); 
criteria for separating these species in imm. 
plumages have yet to be established. A Brown 
Booby was inland at N.E.S.S. 23 Aug-30 Nov 
(ST, KRi); 4 were reported in San Diego waters 
between 16 Aug and 4 Oct QSF, JJF, BT); and 
another was on the oil-drilling platform Edith 
off Orange 29 Nov (PG). A Neotropic Cor- 
morant near Seeley, Imperial 23 Sep+ (GMcC) 
was joined by another 11 Nov+ (MJB) and by 
2 more 26 Nov+ (TE); another was at S.E.S.S. 
5 Nov (GMcC). 

HERONS THROUGH PHALAROPES 

A young Little Blue Heron at Bolsa Chica 27 
Aug-3 Oct (TF) was the only one away from 
coastal San Diego. A Reddish Egret around 
N.E.S.S. 7 Sep+ (AH, CMcG) was the only one 
inland, and none were reported n. of Orange. 
Four Wood Storks at S.E.S.S. 22 Aug (HD) 
were the latest of the few present during the 
summer. Up to 5 Yellow-crowned Night- 
Herons were at P.M.N.A.S. through 18 Nov 
(AS, DP), a juv. was in Encino, Los Angeles 26 
Aug (PN), an imm. was in Encinitas, San 
Diego 5 Oct (SBr), an ad. was near Mission Bay 
in San Diego 2 Sep (AP), and the 2 present in 
Imperial Beach, San Diego since 2005 were 
still there 30 Nov (GMcC); in addition, an ap- 
parent Yellow-crowned Night-Heron x Black- 
crowned Night-Heron hybrid was in Malibu, 
Los Angeles 4 Aug-31 Oct (CDY, TMcG). 

The Black Vulture found in Goleta 18 Jul 
was still present 6 Nov (NAL). A Harris’s 
Hawk was at Borrego Springs, San Diego 6-24 
Oct (SBi). Migrant Broad-winged Hawks in- 
cluded 2 at Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo 30 
Sep (BKS), 4 over Goleta 8 Oct (BR), and sin- 


gles at Pasadena, Los Angeles 7 Oct 0^0 and 
Orange 3 Oct (DRW); inland singles were at 
Mojave Narrows, San Bernardino 29 Sep 
(BDe), Baker, San Bernardino 9 Oct 0T)> 
Desert Center, Riverside 3 Oct (TABe), and 
near Boulevard, San Diego 4 Oct (BM). The 
largest flock of migrant Swainson’s Hawks at 
Borrego Springs was 160 on 26-27 Oct (PJ). 
Single Zone-tailed Hawks on the coast in Ojai, 
Ventura 14 Oct+ (BDo), at Mission Viejo, Or- 
ange 17 Nov OR), and near Escondido, San 
Diego 15 Nov-h (KRo), and inland near El Cen- 
tro, Imperial 26 Sep+ (KZK) were ads. winter- 
ing locally, while singles near Santa Ynez, San- 
ta Barbara 31 Oct (CP), near Escondido 4 Oct 
(KRo), and at Lake Forest, Orange 8 Oct (RS), 
along with a 4th inland near Bard, Imperial 18 
Sep (HD) were evidently migrants. A Rough- 
legged Hawk on the Carrizo Plain, San Luis 
Obispo 28 Oct (MLS) was the only one report- 
ed; numbers of these hawks reaching s. Cali- 
fornia are declining. 

Remarkable were 2 Purple Gallinules on 
the San Gabriel R. in Los Angeles, with a 
hatch-year bird in Pico Rivera 2-15 Sep (NV) 
and a year-old bird in El Monte 21 Sep-8 Oct 
(NV, m.ob.); there are only three previous 
records for California. A Sandhill Crane at 
Desert Center 18 Nov-h (CMcG) was at an un- 
usual location. Single American Golden- 
Plovers were on the coast at Guadalupe, San- 
ta Barbara 4-9 Sep (WTF) and Goleta 4 Oct 
(NAL); another was inland at P.P. 11 Sep 
(KLG). Apparent migrant Pacific Golden- 
Plovers included single birds in Playa del Rey, 
Los Angeles 17-20 Nov (MM), Huntington 
Beach, Orange 31 Oct (DC), and Coronado, 
San Diego 12 Oct (MS); along the coast, ap- 
parent wintering birds included 3 at 
Guadalupe 13 Sep+ (MLS), up to 2 in Goleta 


13 Nov+ (DMC), at least 2 near Port Huen- 
eme, Ventura 21 Aug-i- (NG, AS), as many as 5 
at Seal Beach, Orange 13 Aug+ 0F)> one at 
Bolsa Chica 21 Aug+ (BEDa), and another 
near Imperial Beach 26 Aug-i- (RTF), with an- 
other inland at Salton City, Imperial 19 Oct+ 
(DSC). Single Mountain Plovers at Mono Bay 

10 Oct (KLP) and Mission Bay, San Diego 14- 
16 Nov (JSt) were on the coast, where excep- 
tionally rare; one at Harper Dry L., San 
Bernardino 6 Nov (DK) was in an area where 
few have been recorded; and one near West- 
morland, Imperial 22 Aug (GMcC) was an ex- 
ceptionally early migrant. 

An American Oystercatcher associating 
with 2 American x Black hybrids and up to 6 
Blacks was on Point Loma 11 Sep-27 Nov 
(SBM, TE). A Solitary Sandpiper in Goleta 27- 
29 Oct (WTF) was late. Most unusual was a 
Wandering Tattler inland at C.L. 27 Aug 
(RAB), only the 2nd recorded in Kern. An ad. 
Bar-tailed Godwit was in Imperial Beach 3-7 
Aug (TABl, m.ob.), and a juv. was at Mono 
Bay 28 Aug-5 Sep QSR, m.ob.). Three Ruddy 
Turnstones at Owens L., Inyo 21 Aug were in- 
land and away from the Salton Sea, as was a 
Red Knot at the same location 18 Sep (both 
SLS). A Sanderling at Owens L. 6 Aug (SLS), 
another near Tecopa, Inyo 30 Sep (LSW), and 
2 at Daggett, San Bernardino 22 Oct QoB) 
were the only ones found inland away from 
the Salton Sea. At least 40 Semipalmated 
Sandpipers were reported between 1 Aug and 

11 Sep, with most along the coast, including 
7 together at Bolsa Chica 6 Aug (BEDa). An 
ad. Little Stint was inland at Owens L. 6 Aug 
OLD), and a juv. was well photographed at s. 
San Diego Bay 31 Aug (MS). An ad. Curlew 
Sandpiper at Seal Beach 7 Nov (N&MF) was 
the 40th recorded in California. A Stilt Sand- 


VOLUME 65 (2011) • NUMBER 1 


163 


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 


piper at the VC.G.P. 10-26 Sep (LS), with 2 
there 26 Sep (LS), 3 in Long Beach, Los Ange- 
les 12-20 Sep (RB), and singles at Bolsa Chica 

1 Aug (BEDa) and in Irvine, Orange 2 Aug 
(BEE), were on the coast, where rare; one at 
Owens L. 21-29 Aug OLD, SLS) and 6 at 
S.J.W.A. 26 Sep-3 Oct (CMcG) were inland 
and away from the Salton Sea. Single Buff- 
breasted Sandpipers were near Port Hueneme 

2 Oct QiM) si'xi in Long Beach 28-29 Aug 
QeB), the seasons only reports. Ten Ruffs be- 
tween 14 Aug and 6 Oct included single juvs. 
inland at EE 18 Sep (N&MF) and S.J.W.A. 29 
Oct (CMcG). A Red Phalarope at C.L. 8 Nov 
(SLS) was inland, where unexpected. 

GULLS THROUGH FLYCATCHERS 

A Black-legged Kittiwake at N.E.S.S. 15 Oct 
QFG) was not only inland but early for a mi- 
grant. An ad. Ivory Gull at Pismo Beach, San 
Luis Obispo 4-7 Nov (MSt, m.ob.) was re- 
markably the 2nd to be found in California. 
At least 19 Sabine’s Gulls inland between 6 
Sep and 23 Oct was about average. A Laugh- 
ing Gull in Malibu, Los Angeles 25 Sep 
(F&SG) was on the coast, where rare. A 
Franklin’s Gull near Seeley 30 Nov (DG) was 
the latest of the no more than 10 found in 
the e. part of the Region, and single birds in 
Santa Barbara 23-30 Sep (DS) and near Del 
Mar, San Diego 6 Nov (JFr) were the only 
two found on the coast. An ad. Black-tailed 
Gull in Long Beach, Los Angeles 8-10 and 20- 
21 Nov (RAH, m.ob.) provides the 3rd 
record for California. A Mew Gull well in- 
land near Palmdale, Los Angeles 23 Oct 
(N&MF) was at an unexpected location. 
Two Western Gulls far inland at Owens L. 17 
Nov (SLS) were certainly unexpected, as 
were 2 together at L. Elsinore, Riverside 24 
Oct (RP). Four Lesser Black-backed Gulls 
were found on the Salton Sea after 23 Sep 
(CMcG, GMcC). An Arctic Tern near Seeley 
6 Oct (GMcC) was inland, where rare. Two 
Parasitic Jaegers were on the San Bernardino 
side of L. Havasu 19 Sep (TABe), one was at 
N.E.S.S. 3 Sep (DG), and at least 8 were at 
S.E.S.S. 9 Sep-14 Oct (GMcC). An ad. Long- 
tailed Jaeger was on the San Bernardino side 
of L. Havasu 19 Sep (TABe), and an imm. at 
S.E.S.S. 23 Sep-6 Oct (GMcC) was joined by 
an ad. 26 Sep (CAM). 

Large numbers of Common Murres moved 
into s. California waters in Nov, as indicated 
by a record count of 1042 flying southward 
past Pt. La Jolla 22 Nov (PEL, SW). The pres- 
ence of smaller numbers of Ancient Mur- 
relets, such as 20 from Montana de Oro S.P. 17 
Nov (KLP), 6 at the Santa Maria R. mouth, 
San Liiis/Santa Barbara 8 Nov (BKS), one at 
Pt. La Jolla, San Diego 9 Nov (MS), plus 2 


164 


more there 25 Nov (DWA), may have been as- 
sociated with the murre flight. 

A Band-tailed Pigeon at China Ranch near 
Tecopa 4 Oct OEP) was well away from the 
mountains. About 30 White-winged Doves on 
the coast between 10 Aug and 21 Nov was 
more than expected. At least 3 Ruddy 
Ground-Doves were at EC.R. 2-4 Oct (C&RH, 
JEP), and another was at Baker 14 Oct (LLeP); 
a female on the coast near Port Hueneme 29- 
31 Oct (AL, WF, MT) was the 3rd ever record- 
ed in Ventura. A Black Swift over Los Angeles 
21 Sep (KLG) was the only migrant reported. 
A Black-chinned Hummingbird on Point 
Loma 16 Oct (MS) was a late migrant; nor- 
mally, virtually all have left California by the 
end of September. An Acorn Woodpecker at 
Zzyzx, San Bernardino 18 Sep (LLeP) was 
surely lost. Only 5 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers 
were reported, all after 16 Oct. Single 
Williamson’s Sapsuckers in the high desert at 
Horsethief Spring, San Bernardino 2 Oct (JEP) 
and Pearblossom, Los Angeles 28 Oct OiM), 
and in the coastal foothills at Syhnar, Los An- 
geles 15 & 21 Nov (RB), were of note. 

Late lingering wood-pewees are always 
noteworthy, especially given the possibility of 
a vagrant species in late fall; birds felt to be 
Western Wood-Pewees were in Ocean Beach, 
San Diego 20-21 Oct (PEL) and West Los An- 
geles 26 Oct (RB). The only vagrant Empidon- 
ax reported was a Least Flycatcher in Long 
Beach 25 Nov+ (KSG). An exceptionally early 
Eastern Phoebe was at Morro Bay 24-30 Sep 
(TE); 8 more were found in coastal areas 22 
Oct+, along with 3 on the n. deserts 27 
Oct-11 Nov. A Say’s Phoebe on San Clemente 
I. 2 Aug (MDG) was a very early arrival. A 
typical showing of some 19 Tropical King- 
birds occurred along the coast 19 Sep-t, with 
inland birds at Prado R.R, San Bernardino 1 
Nov (TABe) and along the Colorado R. at 
Quail Hollow near Parker Dam, San Bernardi- 
no 18 Sep (DK). Eastern Kingbirds, typically 
early in fall, were in Santa Barbara 2-6 Sep 
QNB), at Pt. Dume in Malibu 7-8 Sep (CAM), 
and at Malibu Lagoon 21-25 Sep (TMcG). 
The only Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was a bird 
that appeared in Goleta 3 Nov (NAL). 

VIREOS THROUGH PIPITS 

A Bell’s Vireo on San Clemente I. 8 Sep QTS) 
was only the 3rd to be found on that well- 
worked island; one at the Salton Sea N.W.R. 
headquarters, S.E.S.S. 10 Nov-i- was fairly 
olive, presumably representing the subspecies 
arizonae. A Cassin’s ’Vireo near El Centro 6 
Sep (KZK) established the earliest fall record 
for the Salton Sink. Yellow-throated Vireos, 
casual but annual in fall, were at N.E.S.S. 11 
Oct (RMcK) and Pt. Loma, San Diego 3 Nov 


(SBM). Very late Warbling Vireos were in La 
Jolla 9 Nov (PEL) and Huntington Beach 16 
Nov (SGM). A Philadelphia Vireo was in 
Ocean Beach 1-3 Nov (PEL). Four Red-eyed 
Vireos were in coastal areas 17 Sep-4 Nov, 
with an earlier bird (perhaps summering?) in 
San Diego 3 Aug (TRS); the only one noted 
on the deserts was at G.H.P. 4-7 Oct (DG). A 
good showing of Yellow-green Vireos includ- 
ed birds at Pt. Loma 26 Sep (CAM), Oceano, 

San Luis Obispo 5 Oct (MLS) and near Ox- 
nard, Ventura 11-19 Oct (RMcM), along with 
Riverside’s 2nd ever at Desert Center 2-5 Oct 
(CAM). A group of 30 Common Ravens near 
Seeley 9 Sep (GMcC) was an indication of the 
growing numbers of this opportunistic 
species in the Imperial Valley. 

Observers throughout the Region com- 
mented on a moderate flight of Red-breasted 
Nuthatches; Santa Barbara, for example, ex- 
perienced its “largest numbers in more than a 
decade,” and an impressive count of 30 was 
made at California City, Kem 16 Oct (AH). A 
minor movement of Brown Creepers included 
San Clemente l.’s 2nd ever 9 Nov (SMS), one 
on Santa Catalina I. 13 Nov QT-R), and one 
near Calipatria, Imperial 15 Nov (JCS). A 
Winter Wren on Pt. Loma 3 Nov-i- (PEL, MS) 
was well documented with photographs and 
voice recordings and establishes the first 
record for San Diego. Yet another case of dis- 
persal of California Gnatcatchers within ur- 
ban areas involved 2 along Ballona Cr. in 
Playa del Rey, Los Angeles 23 Oct, with one re- 
maining through 3 Nov (DSC); this site is 
some 20 km from the nearest known occu- 
pied habitat on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. A 
Hermit Thrush collected in the Santa Rosa 
Mts., Riverside 21 Sep (PU; *SDNHM) was of 
the Rocky Mountain/Great Basin auduboni/po- 
lionotus group (which breeds in the White 
Mts. but is not known as a migrant or winter- [ 
er elsewhere in the Region). Six Gray Catbirds ; 
were found on the deserts 27 Sep-7 Nov, with 
an additional bird at Descanso, San Diego 26 
Oct (GW). A Brown Thrasher on San 
Clemente I. 9 Nov (ND) established only the 
2nd record for the island. One of the few 
Curve-billed Thrashers ever to reach the i 

coastal slope was in Huntington Beach 14 | 

Nov+ (BEDa), a first for Orange; another was 
at Wister, S.E.S.S. 9 Nov+ (PW, JMo). Red- 
throated Pipits made a poor showing this fall, 
with one on San Clemente I. 9 Oct (JTS) and 
different singles in the Tijuana River Valley, i 
San Diego 11-31 Oct and 14-19 Oct (MS, 

PEL). Mission Bay hosted single Sprague’s ^ 
Pipits 20-21 Oct and 31 Oct-1 Nov (PEL), ' 
and another Sprague’s was an odd sight hun- 
kered down among buildings at Stovepipe 
Wells, Inyo 2 Oct (C&RH). 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 


LONGSPURS THROUGH FINCHES 

The only Lapland Longspur reports were 
coastal or insular, with 14 birds 19 Oct+; the 
same was true for Chestnut-collared, with 18 
birds over the same date span. Single Mc- 
Cown’s Longspurs were at Mission Bay 19 
Oct-8 Dec (MS) and se. of Lancaster, Los An- 
geles 21 Nov (F&SG). Golden-winged War- 
blers, casual in the Region, were on Santa Bar- 
bara 1. 20-21 Oct (WTF) and at Diaz L. s. of 
Lone Pine, Inyo 23-24 Oct (KH-L). Twenty-one 
Tennessee Warblers, all in coastal counties, 
were found 5 Sep-22 Nov. Virginia’s Warblers 
continue to be far scarcer as a fall coastal va- 
grant than 20 years ago, with only 4 this year 
25 Sep-2 Oct; inland singles were at Zzyzx 1 1 
Aug (TABe) and Glen Helen R.P., San Bernardi- 
no 23 Sep (TABe). Four Lucy’s Warblers were 
on the coast 19 Aug-11 Nov; 2 at C.L. 9 & 15 
Aug (SLS, RAB) were somewhat out of range, 
and up to 9 in the Imperial Valley (including 6 
near Brawley) 7-28 Aug were exceptional for 
that area (GMcC). An above-average showing 
of Northern Parulas included 9 on the coast 4 
Sep-7 Nov and 7 on the deserts 10 Sep-26 
Nov. Nine Chestnut-sided Warblers were on 
the coast 21 Aug+, with 2 more on the n. 
deserts 2 Oct-2 Nov and one in the San 
Bernardino Mts. near Forest Falls 7 Nov (LSc). 
A slightly above-average 15 Magnolia Warblers 
included 12 on the coast 11 Sep-8 Nov and 3 
on the deserts 16-25 Sep. Seven Black-throated 
Blue Warblers on the coast 9 Oct-8 Nov and 4 
more on the deserts 28 Sep-10 Oct exemplified 
this species’ relatively late window of occur- 
rence in fall. The only Black-throated Green 
Warbler was at Mission Bay 27 Oct (PEL). Six 
Blackburnian Warblers were along the coast 1 1 
Sep-23 Oct, with another w. of Boron, Kern 14 
Oct (BLS). Single Yellow-throated Warblers 
were in Los Osos 30 Sep-1 Oct (MDS) and 
near Lakeside, San Diego 27 Nov-29 Dec OFr, 
RTP). A Grace’s Warbler in Goleta 26 Sep+ 
(NG) returned for its 3rd winter. A Pine War- 
bler in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara 25-28 Nov 
QMC) did not appear to remain for the winter; 
several wintering birds in the Region will be 
noted in the winter report. Six Prairie Warblers 
were along the coast 19 Sep-10 Oct; another 
was in the Santa Rosa Mts., Riverside 24 Sep 
(PU). Forty-two coastal Palm Warblers 25 
Sep+, along with 8 on the deserts 27 Sep-8 
Nov, were more than average. The fall’s lone 
Bay-breasted Warbler was at Montana de Oro, 
San Luis Obispo 7-8 Nov (jSR). Twenty-one 
Blackpoll Warblers, including 19 on the coast 2 
Sep-4 Nov and single birds at Baker 27 Sep-2 
Oct (BDe) and G.H.P. on the very late date of 
20 Oct (AH), were well below the recent ten- 
year mean of 37 individuals. 

Black-and-white Warbler numbers were av- 


erage, with 37 in coastal counties 7 Sep+ and 
another 5 on the deserts 30 Aug-12 Nov. 
American Redstarts, regular and somewhat 
early fall migrants, included 29 in coastal areas 

27 Aug+ and 10 on the deserts 2 Sep-8 Oct. A 
Prothonotary Warbler was in Huntington 
Beach 2-4 Oct (BML), with 3 more on the n. 
deserts 1 Sep-3 Oct. Five Ovenbirds included 
one in Birchim Canyon near Bishop 1 1-28 Nov 
(RJS), remarkably late for Inyo. Some 23 
Northern Waterthrushes 7 Sep-4 Nov (12 
coastal, 1 1 on the deserts) was average. A Ken- 
tucky Warbler at Deep Springs, Inyo 12 Oct 
(RJS, SLS) was the only one reported. Hooded 
Warblers were found only on San Clemente I. 
3-4 Sep (MDG) and G.H.P. 5 Oct (SLS). Cana- 
da Warblers were in Los Osos 10-17 Oct (AA), 
Goleta 26 Oct (KA), Long Beach 22 Sep (South 
Bay Wildlife Rehab), G.H.P 16 Sep OLD), and 
Birchim Canyon 22-23 Sep Q&^DP)- Migrant 
Painted Redstarts were in Morongo Valley, San 
Bernardino 19 Sep-3 Oct (ET) and Laguna 
Niguel, Orange 27-31 Oct (RBM); one on Pt. 
Loma 9 Oct+ QK, CHa) had returned for its 
5 th winter. A Yellow-breasted Chat in Los Osos 

28 Nov-7 Dec QC) was very late. 

Green-tailed Towhees are scarce migrants 

though the lowlands, but a total of 7 on San- 
ta Barbara 1. 25-27 Sep (NAL) shows how 
many can turn up at offshore migrant traps. 
Fifteen Clay-colored Sparrows were found 
along the coast 15 Sep-23 Nov, but only 3 
were on the deserts, 16 Sep-15 Oct. Lark 
Buntings were at Desert Center 6 Sep and Pra- 
do R.P. 7-12 Sep (both HBK). Three beldingi 
Savannah Sparrows at Malibu Lagoon 15 Aug 
(KLG) were the first in decades at this well- 
worked site, about 20 km from the nearest 
resident populations up and down the coast. 
Only 4 Swamp Sparrows were reported 14 
Oct-26 Nov. Harris’s Sparrows were in 
Carpinteria, Santa Barbara 4-8 Nov (LRB) 
and Huntington Beach 24 Nov (CAM), with 
another in the interior at Zzyzx 17 Nov (KL). 
An Oregon Junco of the n. coastal subspecies 
oreganus in the Santa Rosa Mts. 6 Oct (PU; 
*SDNHM) was one of the few ever docu- 
mented in the Region. 

Up to 3 Hepatic Tanagers were found in the 
Santa Rosa Mts. 23-24 Sep (PU), establishing 
on the 2nd record for Riverside’ a male was in 
Burbank, Los Angeles 30 Oct (TC); and an- 
other male returned for its 5th winter in Im- 
perial Beach 10 Nov+ QSc). Summer Tanagers 
are now routine along the coast, but it is hard 
to interpret the 32 found this fall (12 Sep-i-) 
without teasing out migrants from wintering 
birds and distinguishing sw. cooperi from 
nominate rubra (the latter appears to pre- 
dominate). Scarlet Tanagers appeared in 
Ridgecrest, Kern 24-25 Oct (SLS) and Birchim 


Canyon 25 Oct (J&DP). A female Pyrrhulox- 
ia near Brawley, Imperial 9 Aug-7 Sep 
(GMcC) was one of the few to be found in 
California. The 18 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks 
(6 Sep+) and 13 Indigo Buntings (28 Aug-15 
Nov) were unremarkable. Five Dickcissels 
were along on the coast 29 Sep-22 Oct, with 
another 3 on the deserts 8 Sep-17 Oct. 

Fall Bobolink numbers have declined in 
the Region; 18 were on the coastal slope 8 
Sep-23 Oct, though none was found in Or- 
ange or San Diego; another 6 were on the 
deserts 8 Sep-3 Oct. A Rusty Blackbird, now 
exceptionally rare in the Region, was in 
Guadalupe 7-13 Nov (WTF). A Common 
Crackle was photographed at a feeder in San 
Pedro, Los Angeles 11 Oct (DE). Three Or- 
chard Orioles were on the deserts 5-17 Sep; at 
least one of the 9 coastal birds 14 Sep+ re- 
mained to winter (with several more to be 
noted in the winter season report). Single Bal- 
timore Orioles were in Ventura 22 Sep (DVP), 
Long Beach 14 Oct O^B), Pt. Loma 10 Oct 
(DWA), and Desert Center 23 Oct (CAM). 

Pine Siskins wandered fairly widely into 
the lowlands, but 2 in Morro Bay 20-21 Aug 
(TME) might have been summering there. 
Evening Grosbeaks were found singly or in 
pairs 23 Oct-14 Nov along the Transverse 
Ranges from Figueroa Mt., Santa Barbara e. to 
the San Bernardino Mts.; in the coastal low- 
lands, one was in Ventura 7 Oct (LH), and an- 
other was in Long Beach 19 Oct (KSG); and 
in the n. interior, a flock of 20 was in the Sier- 
ra Nevada w. of Bishop 31 Oct (RJS, SLS), and 
2 were at Horsethief Spring 2 Nov (SR). 

Cited observers (county coordinators in bold- 
face): Alex Abela, Kevin Aenerud, Douglas W. 
Aguillard, Larry R. Ballard, Robert A. Barnes, 
Richard Barth, Thomas A. Benson (TABe), 
Steve Bier (SBi), MarkJ. Billings, Jay N. Bish- 
op, Thomas A. Blackman (TABl), John Bovee 
(]oB), Jeff Boyd O^b), Steve Brad (SBr), Dick 
Cable, Jay Carroll, Terri Chapman, David M. 
Compton (Santa Barbara), Daniel S. Cooper, 
Brian E. Daniels (BEDa), Bill Deppe (BDe), 
Nicole Desnoyers, Henry Detwiler, Bruce E. 
Deuel (BEDe), Becky Donahue (BDo), Jon L. 
Dunn, Bettina E. Eastman, Todd Easterla, Tom 
M. Edell (San Luis Obispo), David Ellsworth, 
Jon S. Feenstra, John Fitch, Tim Foltz, JoelleJ. 
Fournier, Nick & Mary Freeman (N&MF), 
Jack Friery (JFr), Wes T. Fritz, Walter Fuller, 
Peter Gaede, Noah Gaines, John E Garrett, 
Kimball L. Garrett (Los Angeles), Karen S. 
Gilbert, Frank & Susan Gilliland (F&SG), 
David Goodward, Matthew D. Gould, John F. 
Green (Riverside), Robert A. Hamilton, Lau- 
ren Harter, Christina Harvey (CHa), Tom & 
Jo Heindei (Inyo), Kelli Heindel-Levinson 


VOLUME 65 (2011) 


NUMBER 1 


165 


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 


(Kem), Chris & Rosie Howard (C&RH), An- 
drew Howe, Oscar Johnson (Ventura), Mark 
Jorgensen, Paul Jorgensen, A1 Kalin, Doug 
Karalun, Jay Keller, Howard B. King, Alexan- 
der E. Koonce (San Bernardino), Kenneth Z. 
Kurland, Kevin G. Larson, Brian M. Leather- 
man, Paul E. Lehman, Larry LePre, Nick A. 
Lethaby, Kurt Leuschner, Andrea Lloyd, Cur- 
tis A. Marantz, Sara B. Mayers, Guy McCaskie 
(Imperial), Chet McGaugh, Todd McGrath, 
Robert McKernan, Robert McMorran, Robert 
B. McNab (RBM), Martin Meyers, Jim Moore 
OiM), Joseph Morlan QoM), Steve G. Morris, 
Brennan Mulrooney, Pornpat Nikamanon, 
Robert Packard, Robert T. Patton, Jim & Deb- 
by Parker (|&DP), Dave Pereksta, Kaaren L. 
Perry, Anne Peyton, Cruz Phillips, James E. 


Pike, Gary Potter, Kay Regester (KRe), Sandy 
Remley, Karen Riesz (KRi), Don Roberts, Kim 
Roth (KRo), Barry Rowan, Jonathan L. Row- 
ley, Jim S. Royer, Joan Rubin, Matt Sadowski, 
Larry Sansone, Rich Schilk, Jim Schlickenrei- 
der (jSc), Larry Schmahl (LSc), Brad K. 
Schram, Adam Searcy, Maggie L. Smith, Darryl 
Spittle, BJ Stacy, Justyn T. Stahl (San 
Clemente Island), Trent R. Stanley, Robert J. 
Steele, Susan L. Steele, Mike Stensvold (MSt), 
John C. Sterling, Mike D. Stiles, Jeremiah 
Stock QSt), Shawn M. Sullivan, Michael 
Tiffany, Eric Tipton, John Tomlinson, Steve 
Turley, Bill Tweit, Philip Unitt, Tom M. Van der 
Have, David Vander Pluym, Norm Vargas, Deb 
Vogt, Stan Walens, Len S. Warren, Peter Wen- 
delken, Douglas R. Willick (Orange), Gail 


Wynn, Callyn D. Yorke. An additional 30+ ob- 
servers who could not be individually ac- 
knowledged submitted reports; all have our 
thanks. © 

Corrigendum: We apologize to Paul Keller, 
whose name we inadvertently omitted as the 
finder of the White Wagtail present near San- 
ta Maria 27 Dec 2009-9 Jan 2010 [North 
American Birds 64:101], 


Guy McCaskie, 954 Grove Avenue 

Imperial Beach, California 91932, (guymcc@pacbell.net) 

Kimbail L. Garrett 

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County 

900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90007 

(kgarrett@nhm.org) 


I Baja California Peninsula 


Ensenada 

^^^^^Tijuar ■ __texicali 
rodos^’V ^/Cem Prieto 

Santos'^' 


eyes de Reforma 



lower Rfo_, 

Santo Tomas ^ 
Maneadero Plain^Qt&riiin 
El Rosarii 


Islas San Benito, 

Isla CedrosA 
Vizcaino' 
Peninsula 


San Jose del Cabo 


Richard A. Erickson 
Roberto Carmona 
Gorgonio Ruiz-Campos 


I t was another wonderful autumn on the 
Baja California Peninsula, with “water- 
birds” (or, at least, birds on the first half of 
the checklist) holding their own for a change 
among the major highlights. These included 
Harlequin Duck, Christmas Shearwater, Mis- 
sissippi Kite, Hudsonian Godwit, and three 
Regional firsts, all in Baja California Sur: Gray 
Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, and Wood Sand- 
piper. The last was also a species new to Mex- 
ico. The rarest “landbirds” were Brown 
Thrasher, Bendire’s Thrasher, and Blue- 
winged Warbler, all in Baja California. 
Seabirds and raptors, in addition to those al- 


ready mentioned, received welcome attention 
in Baja California Sur, Several species were 
found nesting during the season: Pied-billed 
Grebe, Neotropic Cormorant, Bald Eagle, 
Common Ground-Dove, Ruddy Ground- 
Dove, Northern Mockingbird, Gray Thrasher, 
Hooded Oriole, and Scott’s Oriole in the 
south; Ruddy Duck, Brown Booby, and Clap- 
per Rail in the north. This is normal, espe- 
cially in the south, where summer rains revi- 
talize the landscape. Xantus’s Hummingbird 
and Northern Cardinal were seen again in 
southeastern Baja California at Mision de San- 
ta Gertrudis (11-12 Oct, Ruiz-Campos et al), 
but these species remain unconfirmed as 
breeders in the state. Numerous eastern va- 
grant landbirds were seen, but species diversi- 
ty was average. Northern and mountain birds, 
by contrast, were poorly represented. 

DUCKS THROUGH 
AUKLETS 

Rare duck sightings included a 
male Wood Duck at Rancho El 
Aguila II 19 Oct (ph. SNGH, 

RAE, JEP), first for the Viz- 
caino Desert, and a female Har- 
lequin Duck at Islas Coronado 
13 Nov (tMJB, ph. MS et al), 
only the 4th found in the Re- 
gion. An estimated 1000 Mal- 
lards at the Las Arenitas sewage 
ponds 17 Oct (TB et al.) more 
than doubled the previous high 
count from the Mexicali Valley. 

At least one Buller’s Shearwater 
sw. of Punta Banda 18 Sep 


(AM, JM) was the most notable tubenose seen 
away from the s. Gulf. A Wood Stork was seen 
at La Ribera around the first of Aug (Robert 
Emery, Jide SGM) and on 24 Oct (JSp). Pacific 
island boobies included 15 Masked and 6 
Brown at Rocas Alijos 6 Nov (DWP) and a juv. 
Blue-footed (3-18 Sep; MS, DWP et al.) and 
up to 47 Brown (25 Aug-13 Nov, including 
three occupied nests; DWP, MS et al.) at Islas 
Coronado. Neotropic Cormorants were found 
nesting again in the n. Bahia Magdalena area 
(n. of Boca Santo Domingo; see Western Birds 
35: 93-96). A colony including 40 ads., 28 
nests with 2 large young each, and 15 juvs. 
was found on an island dominated by white 
mangroves 12 Nov (EP). Wader highlights in- 
cluded a high count of 476 Reddish Egrets at 
the Guerrero Negro saltworks 20 Sep (VA, 
HO) and 2 White-faced Ibis at sea 72 km w. of 
Islas San Benito on 25 Sep (AT). 



This male Wood Duck — making do with a cattle trough at Banchs El Aguila II, 
1 9 October 201 0 — represented the first record for the Vizcaino Desert of Baja 
California. Photograph by Steve N. G. Howell. 


166 


NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS 


BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA 


r ft Billings organized boat trips out of Los Barriies and Cabo San Lucas in Aug 
3M{Tab!e 1). The payoff included first fegiona! photographic documentation of 
Christmas Shearwater and Townsend's Shearvi/ater obtained off Los Barriies 20 
Aug, Repeat visits are anticipated in coming years. Participaists in these excursions 
were MJB, MSB, RAE, JEG, Si^GH, TMcG, MS, LST, and SBT. 



Table 1 . Pelagic birds of note recorded in August 201 0 off southern laja California Sur. 

Species / Date and Location 

20 Aug 

Los Barriies 

21 Aug 

Los Barriies 

22 Aug 

Cabo San Lucas 

Cook's Petrel 

1 



Pink-footed Shearwater 

40-S0 

8 

2 

Wedge-tailed Shearwater 

356-409 

48 

6 

Sooty Shearwater 

5-6 



Christmas Shearwater 

3-S 



Townsend's Sheanwter 

1-3 



Black-vented Shearwater 


1 

5+ 

Leach's Storm-Petrel 
(white-rumped) 

1 



Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel 

28+ 

2 

49+ 

Black Storm-Petrel 

100+ 

30 

180+ 

Least Storm-Petrel 

150+ 

S0+ 

300+ 

Magnificent Frigatebird 



4 

Blue-footed Booby 


2 

1 

Brown Booby 

5+ 

1 

1 

Red-foeted Booby 

15+ 

2 


South Polar Skua 

1 



Sabine's Gull 

1-2 



Black Tern 

1 



Craveri's Murrelet 

2 

1 










This juvenile Hudsonian Godwit at Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur 6-16 (here 6) October 2010 is 
only the third to be found in the Baja California Peninsula region. Photograph by Scott B. Terrill. 


Raptors commanded much attention this season. A year-old 
Mississippi Kite at Miraflores 21 Aug (RAE, ph. SNGH et al.) es- 
tablished only the 5th record for the Region. Previous sightings, 
involving at least 11 birds, are all from the Cape District in the 
months of Jan, Mar, Jul, and Oct. A pair of Bald Eagles nest-build- 
ing at Boca Santo Domingo 12 Nov (EP) was in the species’ resi- 
dent stronghold in the Bahia Magdalena area, but imms. at 
Nopolo 19 Sep (ph. TH) and Estero San Jose 18 Nov-1 Dec (ph. 

GG, ph. ME) had strayed from usual haunts. Away from the Cape 
District, migrant Broad-winged Hawks were seen in the Vizcaino 
Desert at Rancho San Jose de Castro 5 Oct (LST, ph. SBT) and 
Catavina 16 Oct (ph. SNGH, RAE, JEP). Mlodinow found and 
photographed two species new to the Region within a matter of days: an ad. Gray Hawk at 
Caduano 30 Oct and an ad. Short-tailed Hawk at Arroyo Alamo on the road to San Antonio 
de la Sierra 3 Nov. Although these species are fairly common in w. Mexico, they were unex- 
pected in the Region. Migrant Swainson’s Hawks are rarely seen in the Region, so 3 this sea- 
son (away from the Cape District; see the S.A. feature) was unusual: at Ojos Negros 20 Sep 
(AM, JM), at Bahia de los Angeles 25 Oct (ph. GF, MF), and at Tecate 5 Nov (ph. JS). At the 
n. limit of their usual range in sw. Baja California, 3 Crested Caracaras were at Villa Jesus Maria 
7 Oct (ph. SBT, ph. MJB, LST). 

Lagunita El Cipres is often referred to in the context of unusual migratory species, but the 
site is important for resident and nesting species as well. Unfortunately, like the Clapper Rails 
confirmed nesting there 12 Sep (2 chicks, ph. MJB), the site itself appears to be endangered, as 
development encroaches on three sides. Not endangered, but apparently not recorded previ- 
ously at the location, was a Black-necked Stilt at Bahia de los Angeles 6 Oct (ph. GF, MF). Ex- 
traordinary shorebirds this year were an ad. Wood Sandpiper at Lagunas de Chametla 18-23 
Aug (ph. SNGH, tRAE, ph. MS et al.) and 5 Nov (ph. SGM, DGE) and a juv. Hudsonian God- 



This Gray Catbird in the Sierra El Mechudo 6 Nevember was one of two found in Baja California Sur in au- 
tumn 201 0, but this is the first photograph to be published from the state. Photograph by Victor Ayala. 

wit at Guerrero Negro 6-16 Oct (ph. SBT, ph. 
MJB et al.). The former established a first 
Mexican record of this numerous Old World 
species; the latter represented a 3rd Regional 
record. Other shorebirds rare or uncommon 
in the Region included Solitary Sandpiper (5 
in the northwest, 9 in the Cape District), 
Semipalmated Sandpiper (4 juvs. at Lagunas 
de Chametla 18-23 Aug), Baird’s Sandpiper 
(one in the northwest), Pectoral Sandpiper (6 
in the northwest, one at Guerrero Negro), 
Stilt Sandpiper (2 at Guerrero Negro 2 Sep; 
ph. TH), and Ruff (juv. at La Paz 5 Nov; ph. 
SGM, DGE). Terns of note included a late 
Least Tern at Punta Arena 30 Oct (SGM), 23 


VOLUME 65 (2011) ■ NUMBER 1 


167 



BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA 


r n Students of bird migration look at a map of the Baja California Peninsula and let their minds run. How have birds 
'3rievolved to cope with an inviting 1000+ km long land mass — beginning near southern California and ending in the 
tropiG — generally aligned with southbound migratory routes but dead-ending in the Pacific Ocean? How do northbound 
migrants utilize the peninsula? Some of the obvious questions, primarily concerning landbirds, were discussed ten years ago 
(Monographs in Field Ornithology 3: 153-1 55) and are occasionally revisited in these pages. 

Other questions have remained unaddressed. What prompts this discussion is the observation of what was probably a sin- 
gle kettle of approximately 40 Turkey Vultures, 8 Swainson's Hawks, and 3 Broad-winged Hawkslurned back" over Estero San 
Jose on 18-19 Nov (66). David F. DeSante, one of the first to ponder bird migration in this area, observed kettles of vultures 
and hawks piling up over Cabo San Lucas in the fall of 1968 (DFD pers. comm.; details not yet publis